Avoid Burglary: Reinforce Your Doors

Avoid Burglary: Reinforce Your Doors

Sometimes, TV talk shows have a panel of guests made up of reformed burglars and thieves who are tasked with informing viewers about how they can prevent burglaries. Guests talk about their crooked pasts and how they entered the homes they burglarized.

Most say they entered through an open window or unlocked door. Some may claim they picked locks. However, picking a lock is not as easy as reformed burglars may make it seem. Instead, the majority of homes are entered by force. Burglars will break, pry, jimmy, kick, or cut open doors and windows to gain access to a home.

Since the majority of illegal entries are by force rather than finesse, homeowners should examine the construction of doors, windows, and their frames of their homes. A sturdy, solid door jamb or window frame can help prevent a forced break-in.

Choose Sturdy Materials

Solid wooden doors without decorative panels or steel and steel-clad doors offer the best protection against forced break-ins. Likewise, door frames constructed of steel or solid wood should be installed securely to the walls or wall studs. Lastly, the door and door frame should fit together snugly. If a homeowner is able to insert a screwdriver between a door and its frame and wiggle the screwdriver more than a quarter-inch, the door needs to be reinforced.

If reinforcing a door’s frame is impractical, use a latch guard to reinforce the area around the latch of the lock. The latch guard will make it nearly impossible for a thief to spread the door and frame apart enough to “pop the lock”.

Additionally, a door’s hinges should be protected to make it difficult to pry the door open from its hinges. Homeowners can use hinge guards or hinges that do not have a removable pin to protect the hinged sides of their doors. Hinges should be on the interior of the building and not on the exterior where thieves can access them.

Don’t Forget the Windows

Windows are more vulnerable to attack than doors. Secure all windows with security screens or decorative grills, especially if the windows are not visible from the street or are not well-lit.

Once you have determined that your doors, windows, and their frames are as secure as possible, choose the best locks you can afford for your doors. Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville can install the lock that best fits your needs and help you upgrade the security of your doors and windows. To get started, give us a call at 904-246-4590.

Seven Tips to Prevent a Burglary at Your Home

As the fall weather sets in and Jacksonville homeowners start to bring in their lawn furniture, the professional locksmiths at Pop-A-Lock encourage all homeowners to take some simple steps to improve the safety of their homes. Here are seven simple tips to prevent burglaries at your home.

1. Make the Home Look Occupied 

Burglars avoid homes that they believe are occupied. That is why it is important to always make a home look occupied even when its owners are away, whether out to dinner or on vacation. Installing outdoor motion-sensor lights is a good first step, as is putting an indoor light on a timer so it goes on and off at regular intervals.

If homeowners are leaving a home unoccupied for a longer period of time, law enforcement officials recommend that they arrange for someone to mow their lawns or clear their sidewalks and driveways of snow so the home looks occupied. Likewise, homeowners leaving for an extended period of time should also get their mail held so there is no back-up at the mailbox, which is a sign to burglars that no one is home.

2. Close and Lock Doors and Windows 

Whenever homeowners leave their houses, even if for a short time, they should close and lock or otherwise secure all windows, exterior doors and garage doors. Garage doors are often overlooked and can be an easy way for burglars to gain access to a home. A professional locksmith can help homeowners install appropriate window, door and garage door locks.

3. Upgrade Flimsy Door and Window Locks 

Burglars are able to breach flimsy, worn-out locks on both doors and windows. Homeowners should upgrade exterior doors with flimsy push-button or switch locks to deadbolt locks that securely bolt doors to their frames. Both double and single-cylinder models are available for doors with and without glass panes, respectively. Professional locksmiths can also upgrade window locks and the locks on sliding glass doors, which are common points of entry for burglars.

4. Invest in an Alarm System 

Another great way to deter burglars is to install a security alarm. These systems include door, window and motion sensors that sound an alarm when triggered and notify the police that a breach has been made. Posting signage about the presence of a security alarm may deter burglars.

5. Block the View into the Home without Providing an Easy Escape Route 

One way to prevent burglaries is to make sure the burglars cannot window shop before breaking in. Use curtains on windows, including garage and basement windows, so burglars cannot case the house and plan their entries.

However, do not use landscaping to block the view of potential burglars, since heavy shrubbery or hedges can be great cover for a thief making his or her escape from a home. Instead, keep dense landscaping away from the house.

6. Avoid Stashing Valuables in the Master Bedroom 

Most families keep their most prized possessions in the master bedroom, including jewelry and cash. Burglars know this and often make the master bedroom their first stop after breaking into a home. One easy way to avoid theft is to keep one’s valuables in a safe in an inconspicuous part of the home or outside the home in a safe deposit box.

7. Hire a Professional Locksmith to Upgrade and Install Locks 

One of the best ways to prevent a break-in is to upgrade the locks on one’s home and change the locks after purchasing a home or after being burgled. We can recommend the best locks for your home and install them while you wait.

To improve security at your home, call Pop-A-Lock Jacksonville today at 904-246-4590 to schedule an appointment or visit us online.