5 Common Entry Points In Your Home & How To Secure Them
It’s hard to think that even in “good” neighborhoods, homes are susceptible to break-ins; but it actually happens. In fact, there mere fact that people who live in such “secure” environments are too confident to even think of setting up a security system or even bother to lock the door behind them makes them an easy target. Robbers know where the weak points of a neighborhood are and will stop at nothing to try to get in. It doesn’t matter who you are. If your door is open, they will at some point try to enter and take something.
If a burglar is looking to enter your home, it might be easier for him or her to enter than you think. There are certain points of entry that are obvious, like the front door or the window, but there are also often-neglected but surprisingly easy access points that they can use to break in.
Here are 5 of the most common entry points that burglars use to get into their victims’ homes. You can double check if these are true to your house, just to make sure you and your family are safe.
- The Front Door
You might not think that a thief would have the guts to walk through the front door, but this is very much happening. Statistics show that a whopping 34 percent of home break-ins start with front door entry. And this is not surprising, actually. Most of us neglect to lock the door behind us when we enter or place the spare key in common hiding places (under the flower pot, under the welcome mat, on the moulding above the door, and more). Most of the time, burglars don’t even have your keys but can still open your door by kicking it down, dislodging the hinges, breaking your knob and so on.
What can you do? Note that knob locks and key locks are easy to open with a credit card or by expert picking. To be sure, install deadbolt locks as reinforcement when you’re in the house. If you do use knob locks, make sure that your door frame covers that space where a credit card can be inserted to make it difficult for burglars to pry it open using this method. Installing a strong strike plate also makes it stronger against kick-ins. Better yet, install a security camera that points to your front door, plus an alarm system that alerts you when there’s an attempt to open your door.
- Sliding Doors
Similar to unsecured traditional doors, sliding doors that open to the deck, the garden, or anywhere else in your home is a vulnerable point of entry. These doors are often neglected and left unlocked because they’re not “open” like normal doors and they are probably not used often. Burglars know of this weak point so they this is one of the favorite access points. Even if not smashed, such doors can be lifted off their tracks with some tools and skilled maneuvering.
What can you do? Install heavy rods on the tracks to make it difficult to pry open, or have a professional further reinforce your frames and doors with screws and other mechanisms to keep them secure. Glass doors also huge windows into the rest of your house. Make sure you have blinds or curtains or anything that would shield the view from the outside so nobody gets tempted to break in. Installing an alarm for the door or when somebody tries to break the glass is also sufficient.
- Ground Floor Windows
This doesn’t just refer to your living room or kitchen windows, but also to those often-forgotten ones that lead to the basement. Glass windows can be easily broken by throwing rocks or other heavy objects. These areas are possibly the weakest points of your house and burglars know too well to take advantage of this. They’re also the second place thieves check if the doors don’t open.
What can you do? Use reinforced glass, which are relatively difficult to break. Polycarbonates and plexiglass are as thick as the regular glass but are a lot stronger and more resistant to impact. You can also install grills or iron window bars on your windows, so that even if they do succeed at breaking the glass, surely they can’t get through steel.
- Doggy Doors
You’ve seen this in movie. Burglars can and will try to enter the house through the dog doors. Home security experts advise against putting one on your door for obvious reasons. However, if you really must have one for your pet, try to make it as small as possible — or just enough for your pet to enter. It should also be positioned as far as possible from the lock so burglars can’t try to reach from there.
Another thing you could install is special tech that only opens the dog door when it senses your pet’s special collar. Not only does this help prevent burglars from entering that door, but also succeeds in keeping stray animals out.
- Window ACs
Because ACs are commonly installed through a hole in the wall, burglars often use this point of entry. Just because there’s a machine covering that area doesn’t mean it’s secure. One person can actually just dismount the AC from its place and enter through there. To prevent that from happen, you can install a bracket on the outside to secure the opening and to also provide additional support for your AC. You can also install a sensor alarm in this area, just to be doubly sure. Keep in mind that burglars are mostly pros so they know where to enter and how to take advantage of weak spots.
Give your home a perimeter and external check all around to make sure that all potential points of entry are secure and have been addressed with reinforcements. This proactive approach will deter thieves from even attempting something. Overall, just make sure that you always lock the doors and windows so you don’t become a victim.