How to Make a House Safe

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A big part of making your house safe is making it unattractive to thieves, burglars and other would-be criminals. One way of doing this is to install security measures, most of them are low-tech devices that may make your home safe from break ins. Another option is to make it hard for burglars or thieves to get close to your home without being seen. You can also, if you so desire, have a professional alarm system installed for extra peace of mind.

Things You'll Need

  • Security devices
  • Home security service system
  • Check out your doors. Make sure your door has a solid core and is, if possible, sheathed in metal. Remove spring-loaded door locks and replace them with dead bolts that extend at least an inch into the door frame. Next, replace the 1 inch long screws holding the strike plate (where the door hinges mount) into the door frame with 3 inch screws. You can also replace a short strike frame with a longer one, ten or twelve inches long, which allows you to fasten it down with more screws.

  • Drive screws into the top of sliding doors or window frames, over the area where the door or window sits when it's closed. Leave the screw heads protruding by about 1/4 inch. This isn't far enough to interfere with your sliding the door or window open and closed, but it's enough to keep a burglar from lifting the door or window out of its track to gain entry.

  • Cut a piece of dowel or the handle from a hockey stick so that it just fits into the track of your sliding glass door or window when it's closed. When laid in the track, this makes it almost impossible to slide the door or window open. If you have casement or awning windows, you'll need to install a lock to secure them. For basement windows, consider installing decorative security bars.

  • Install motion-activated lighting on the outside of your house. Make sure to locate the light fixtures in a place where burglars cannot readily reach up or climb up to remove or break the bulbs. You can also make your home safe against burglars by keeping shrubs and hedges trimmed to minimize hiding places.

  • Make your home appear to be occupied in the evenings by putting indoor lights and a radio on a timer. Prepare for long absences by putting a hold on newspaper and mail deliveries. Arrange for the grass to be mowed and the snow cleared regularly. Ask a neighbor or trusted friend to stop by every few days and pick up any fliers or advertisements that have been left.

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