According to the FBI, a burglary occurs somewhere in the US every 15 seconds. The good news is that most burglars are opportunists, and taking a few simple measures to boost your home’s security can keep you from becoming their next victim. You can start by plugging security leaks in these four main areas:

Doors

Your home is only as secure as your weakest door, so if you have more than one — like a back door, a patio, or a garage door — fortify all of them. Use these tips to get all of your doors up to speed.

  • Spring locks. Burglars love doors with only spring locks because they’re usually easy to open. Deadbolts are much more secure and can be added to your door in addition to your spring lock. There are also high security lock and bump proof lock options to choose from. A professional locksmith can help you evaluate your security needs and make a good choice.
  • Hinges. Stand on the outside of your closed door. Can you see the hinges? If you can, a thief only has to remove the hinge pins to get your door open. You’ll need to reinstall your door with the hinges on the inside.
  • Strike plates. Many thieves won’t bother with jimmying, picking, or drilling. They’ll just kick your door down. Installing a reinforced strike plate (the part that the tongue of the lock fits into) will help your door survive being kicked.
  • Gaps between door and door frame. The more room there is, the easier it is to jimmy a lock or saw through the tongue.
  • Sliding doors. Since most sliding doors rely on latches rather than locks, they are a weak spot in your security. Have a locksmith install additional security mechanisms or locks on those doors.
  • Remote controlled garage doors. Always change the factory preset code when you have a new system installed. Otherwise, someone with a factory remote might be able to open your door.

Windows
Once you’ve secured your doors, it’s time to ramp up your window security.

  • Ground floor windows. Good window locks make large, ground floor windows much more secure. Another option is installing metal dowels in your window frame, which will prevent anyone from opening the window all the way.
  • Upper story windows. Don’t assume that these windows are safe just because they’re higher up. Make sure there are no nearby trees or other ways to access upper story windows. And don’t forget to secure your skylights!

Yard
How do things look outside your house? Your yard can determine whether a burglar targets your house or keeps right on walking.

  • Lighting. Install motion sensitive lighting along paths and be sure that each doorway is well lit. The more exposed a burglar feels, the less likely he is to target your house.
  • Outdoor furniture, ladders, and tools. Bolt down furniture and put away ladders and tools so that thieves can’t use them to break into your house.
  • Bushes, hedges, and trees. Keep them trimmed for better visibility, and make sure nearby trees can’t be climbed to access a balcony or second story. Prickly bushes help deter thieves, too.

Keys
Surprise – many burglars actually enter with keys instead of breaking in. Protecting your house keys is a must. Some tips:

  • Don’t hide keys under door mats, in mailboxes, or other locations around your house. Thieves know exactly where to look. Your spare key is safer with a trusted neighbor.
  • Rekey your locks if you’ve just moved in or have lost a key. (Learn more about rekeying.)
  • Don’t keep any form of ID on your key ring.
  • Keep track of how many copies of your house key there are and who has them.

Did you know that you can schedule a home security audit with an experienced local locksmith? If you want more information on how to secure your home, call Pop-A-Lock today at 727-562-5408 —  your trusted locally owned and operated Clearwater locksmith.