Scott H. had recently moved into a new home with his wife and kids when his wife asked him if they needed to do anything to secure their new home. Scott told his wife they didn’t need to do anything because his family had lived in the neighborhood for many years and had never had their house broken into.
One day while Scott was working from home he noticed a suspicious man knocking on the front door. Scott didn’t want to answer the door, but was watching the stranger from the window. Scott watched while the suspicious man was moving his head, checking his back every few seconds.
According to Scott, something felt a little off so he decided to follow the stranger knocking at his door. The unknown man ended up walking around the block to the alley, walking back and forth looking around the garage of the home.
So, what did Scott do next? He admitted he did absolutely nothing. He didn’t report it to police and didn’t take any extra security steps to protect his home.
Shortly thereafter, Scott and his family came home after leaving the house and saw glass shattered across the window door. He went into the master bedroom and saw clothes tossed across the floor. Another bedroom door was split in half and personal belongings were thrown around and missing.
The family called police who investigated the scene and completed a report. For the next five nights Scott slept near the broken kitchen window, which was now covered with a piece of cardboard. Scott admitted his family had one of the toughest nights sleeping.
Knowing that someone came into their home, their bedrooms, going through their private belongings felt horrible. The family’s privacy was violated and they no longer felt safe.
Scott admits he didn’t take home security seriously and he was much too complacent since none of his family members had ever had their homes burglarized. The suspicious guy knocking on Scott’s door was clearly casing the home, yet Scott didn’t take the time to implement any security measures.
The thing is, anytime you move into a new home you should analyze the home for any security shortcomings and take immediate steps to fix or install some basic home security measures.
Here are some quick ideas for conducting a security analysis, if you might be moving into a new place.
Visibility. As you approach the home, check to see if the home is clearly visible from the road. What I mean is, are there massive trees in the front yard that hide the door? Would a passing police officer clearly see if a window was broken or if the front door was kicked in?
I realize many folks live in rural areas where they may have a long driveway. In that case, if you were arriving home could you observe if anything looked wrong, such as a door being open or window drapes shut that you had left open.
My point is, if a burglar was waiting for you inside would you be able to see possible ways they had entered your home so you could stay away and call the police?
Doors. As you tour a perspective house, note all the entrances. Do the doors appear to be solid and mounted in solid frames? Is there a deadbolt on all exterior doors? Do the windows all have adequate locks that aren’t completely rusted?
In addition, pay attention to the brand of the locks to see if they are high quality such as Schlage or Medeco. Obviously, you will change the locks when you move in, but if they are a top quality brand, you may be able to simply have them rekeyed, which would save you at least a couple hundred dollars depending on the number of doors.
Think like a burglar. Most importantly, check out the rest of the neighborhood. Is your home the only one with the yard landscaped? Or is your potential home the only one that doesn’t have an alarm system sign in the front yard? Drive through the neighborhood and ask yourself, “If I was going to pick a home to burglarize, would it be mine?”
In addition, scope out the neighborhood and look for any suspicious or problem homes. You know what I mean. Those homes that always have 10 cars parked out front, couches in the yard, etc.
Also, before moving in, make sure you drive through the neighborhood at different hours of the day. For instance, what you see at 10 a.m. could be completely different than what you see at 8 p.m.
The thing is, moving into a new home is clearly a big deal and the last thing you want to do is invest your money in a home that is next to a house full of squatters or drug dealers.
Even though many security measures can be implemented after you move in, these can be costly if you have to replace doors, locks or even windows. So, as you begin the process of looking for a new place to live, consider these security ideas that can help you make a decision that will help keep your family safe.