Are Your Doors and Locks Safe?

Wooden Front Door

Burglary is among the greatest concerns of most families and homeowners, yet home security is something many of us take for granted. Typically, it is only when we become aware of a disturbing incident – or suffer the personal trauma of being a victim – that we actually take steps towards making our homes more secure. The more common access areas, such as front, rear and garage doors are the preferred points of entry for a burglar. A proper security assessment will require a careful professional examination to identify the home’s unique critical areas.

Make An Entrance Examination
Every homeowner should take a close look at the obvious entry points of the home, and ensure they provide adequate protection for family members and their possessions. Typically, burglars seek the easiest and least visible point for illegal entry, such as garage doors and back doors. These doors are usually in darker or covered locations, and often can be compromised simply by breaking a glass panel or applying a swift kick to a weak area. Remember, if you make it difficult for thieves to enter your home, you can effectively discourage burglars and protect your possessions. Don’t invite burglars by offering an easy target. After all, if a break-and-enter requires too much work, skill or tools, the burglar will likely move on.

Standard Doors & Frames
A door is only as secure as its most vulnerable point, and the average door lock is often secured in only a lightweight doorjamb moulding, which might be torn away with a firm kick. Your door and frame should be as strong as possible, and firmly fixed to wall studs. The hinges and “strike area” (where the lock is embedded into the door frame) should be installed with long, heavy-duty screws. Ensure your entrance doors are made of strong solid-core wood or heavy-gage metal, and consider installing an extra chain lock and a wide-angle peephole.

Patio Doors & Security Bars
Sliding glass doors are secured by latches not bolts, so they’re more vulnerable to being forced open from the outside. However, such movement can be restricted by inserting a rigid bar or blocker into the slider track, or installing a hinged security bar that swings into place between the sliding panel (when closed) and the frame on the fixed panel side. Unfortunately, sliding doors can be lifted up and off their tracks and removed despite a bar, blocker, or latch lock. To prevent this, you should install an anti-lift pin that goes through the slider (when closed) and the fixed door panel. There are numerous locking and blocking devices available in most good quality hardware stores that will prevent a sliding door from being lifted or forced horizontally.

Think About Security Every Day
In addition to more secure doors and locks, it is also a good idea to be mindful of other security precautions, such as adequate outside lighting set to motion detection, and variable indoor lighting set to random timers. In addition to more secure hardware and equipment, better habits can go a long way to prevent criminals targeting your home. Make sure you don’t tip off burglars with obvious signs of absence such as an open garage, or stacked newspapers and mail. The more you think about security in your everyday life, the more you can do to protect your life from intrusion.

Uncommon Tips for Making Your Home Show Better


carafes of water and lemons in modern kitchen

Most people know the basics of preparing a home for a viewing or an open house: make sure everything is clean and tidy, mow the lawn, sweep the walkway, etc.

But there are a number of lesser known tips — tips you often don’t hear about — that can make your home even more attractive and desirable to potential buyers.

In the kitchen, for example, it’s obvious that the stove, sink, and countertops should be spotless. But did you know that grinding a lemon will help eliminate any lingering smells? You should also arrange the contents of your cabinets and refrigerator to face forward.

In the bathrooms, make sure the toilet lids are closed. Hang matching towel sets.

Moving on to the bedrooms, check that nothing is lying around. Even a shirt draped neatly over a chair can appear messy to some people.

In the kids’ rooms, the toys should be “staged”, not just flung around. For example, set up a train set like an appealing store display. Don’t just have bits and pieces scattered on the floor.

If possible, move half the contents of all closets into storage. This makes a big difference in how spacious they’ll appear.

Turn on everything: all the lights (even the one above the stove), the fireplace, the backyard fountain.

And here’s another uncommon tip. House plants look their best — brighter, more upright and alive — approximately four hours after you water them.

Finally, put on some easy listening tunes to create a pleasant auditory background. Keep the volume low. No one should have difficulty talking above the music.

All these tips take just minutes to implement, but they can make a big difference in how your home shows. Studies prove that a well prepped home will often sell faster, and for a higher price, so it’s worth the effort.