A home break-in occurs every 30 seconds in the U.S. according to FBI statistics. That adds up to over 3,000 burglaries a day.
Despite this large number of break ins only 25% of Americans say they have a home security system. With the holidays fast approaching burglaries trend upward this time of year as burglars know people are getting packages delivered and are often away from home visiting friends and family.
Achieving optimal home security needs to be on the mind of every homeowner based on their neighborhood, style of home and landscape of their yards.
The first thing all homeowners need to do is make sure they are locking their windows and doors, said Bill Herzog, director of operations at LionHeart Security Services in Tempe.
“You want to check your windows at least once a week because you may have forgotten you opened a window to let some air in or air out your home a few days ago,” Herzog said. “Sliding glass doors are also a huge problem because they are easily defeated. Placing a security bar in the frame of your sliding door will provide added protection for these styles of doors.”
Security screens and doors are also beneficial in keeping your home secure because they add an extra layer between your door lock and windows.
“Security screens and doors can help keep potential burglars from breaking your locks and windows and will prevent them from getting into your home,” Herzog said. “If you can’t afford to do your entire home it is important to at least install these devices on the front areas of the home.”
Your garage is an important part of your home. Not only do you park your car inside, but many people use garages as storage spaces for tools, bikes, outdoor equipment and more. Protecting these items and access into your home needs to be a top priority when it comes to home security.
Many people purposely leave the interior garage door connecting the home to the garage unlocked providing easy access for potential thieves. With these things considered it is easy to see why garage security is important to protect your entire home.
“Always lock the interior garage door connecting your home,” Herzog said. “Many people leave this door unlocked so they can easily enter their home with groceries or throw the trash out into the garage before placing it in the trash can. This door is an easy access point for burglars.”
Garage door technology has increased over the past few years and most models are now capable of being connected to Wi-Fi allowing you to control the door from your phone.
“Wi-Fi connected garage door motors will notify you through an application on your phone if you left your garage door open,” Herzog said. “Amazon even has an app and conversion kit you can install that allows you to get a notification when a delivery takes place. The application will notify you when your package is nearby and allows the delivery person to open and close your garage door. You will receive notifications when the door opens and when it is securely closed.”
Cameras are also a good investment and many top-tier garage door systems have them preinstalled. These cameras connect to your Wi-Fi and allow you to monitor your garage from anywhere you have an Internet connection.
Installing outdoor lights around the perimeter of your home is a great way to deter potential thieves. There are many types of outdoor lighting controls on the market today so understanding the different options can help you decide which best suits your home.
Adolfo Dolan at Automated Environments in Mesa suggests motion activated and lighting schedules to help keep potential burglars away. With many of the smart light switches it give you the ability to turn exterior lights at sunset and off at specified times.
“These lighting systems have motion detectors built in so when they detect any movement they will automatically turn on,” Dolan said. “There are also many smart lighting systems connected to cameras that will detect movement, turn on the lights and send a notification to your phone where you can see the perimeter of your property.”
When evaluating an outdoor lighting system, it is best to choose a system that uses LED lights as these are much brighter than traditional bulbs, use less power and will last much longer.
If you are tech savvy you may want to install smart locks that include a camera. These devices can be set up to work with your phone, computer or other tablet device.
“Smart locks have been on the market for a while, but they are getting better every year,” Dolan said. “Smart locks can be controlled from anywhere with an Internet connection so if your door is being broken into you will be notified immediately even if you aren’t at home. You can also use these locks to let your child in if they are locked out or communicate with a delivery person dropping off a package.”
Smart locks with connected cameras are becoming the new norm because of their ease of use, installation and setup. Installing a camera based locking system provides an extra layer of security for your home to keep burglars at bay.
Your home is your biggest investment, so it is important to protect it. By using these few devices and tips you can help keep your home, family and belongings safe from thieves.
Editor’s note: Joey Hancock is a freelance journalist in Tempe. He has written for a variety of publications throughout southern Arizona with a focus on politics, government, sports and entertainment. For information on LionHeart Security Services, go to lionheartsecurityservices.com. For information on Automated Environments, go to aearizona.com.
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