If you are considering a home construction or remodeling project, have you thought about how home security fits into your plan? Home security is a reality that we sometimes want to avoid. After all, thinking of the possibility of a break-in or someone stealing packages from our front porch is never a pleasant subject. If you’re looking for ways to improve your home’s security, there are plenty of options available to you. We will discuss some of those in this month’s blog post.
The important items for consideration in your home security audit include the following:
- Home Entryways
- Interior/Exterior Lighting
- Alarm Systems
- Interior/Exterior Cameras
- Privacy Level
The easiest way to get started on your audit is to do a daytime and nighttime “walkthrough” of the home and the exterior. In this post, we provide you with some questions to consider when conducting your home security audit.
Your doors and windows are the first choices for intruders because many homeowners do not leave them secured or have locking devices that are easy to break or disable.
- Are your door locks secure and reinforced from picking, drilling, or forced entry? Do you have deadbolts?
- How are any sliding doors secured?
- Are your windows all locked on the ground floor and upstairs where there is easy access?
- Are windows blocked by shrubbery or landscaping?
- Does your garage door have a locking mechanism? Do you lock the entry door from the garage into the home?
Suggested Entryway Improvements:
- Upgrade your door locks to include heavy steel, non-picking, and double locking mechanisms, such as a key and a deadbolt.
- Don’t hide keys in obvious places, like under the doormat. Intruders are very savvy to places where homeowners may hide keys. If you prefer not to use a key, consider purchasing a reputable electronic lock that is controlled by code entry.
- Make sure that windows are not blocked by shrubbery, which can help hide an intruder looking to get into your home.
- Always keep doors and windows locked, even when you are home. Lock your entry door from the garage to the home at night. Keep your garage door closed when not outside.
- Consider a security locking bar for sliding doors. This reinforces these doors, which typically do not have very strong locks.
- Arm doors and windows with local alarm sensors.
Lighting is important for many reasons. It is a deterrent on the outside of the home because it exposes any intruders, and on the inside, it can give the appearance of the home being occupied and it makes the home safer to enter for returning family members.
- When you are not home, do you leave interior/exterior lights on?
- Can you control your interior/exterior lighting from your mobile device?
- Do you use automatic timers on your lights?
- Are all home entryways protected with exterior lights?
Suggested Lighting Improvements:
- Automate interior/exterior lights with a SMART device so you can control them when you are not home or when you may be upstairs in bed. All these items can be added to your construction plan so you don’t have to retrofit after the fact.
- Use timers on interior/exterior lights that adjust on/off times automatically without your intervention.
- Add exterior motion-sensor lights in entryway areas. These save energy by turning on when they detect motion and turning back off when the motion subsides.
There’s a broad range of alarm systems available to homeowners today. From fully installed/monitored systems to “DIY” packages that you install yourself. Your comfort level and budget for security can dictate which option you choose to protect your home.
Whether monitored or local systems, these systems usually include several different types of alarm devices, including:
- Window and door sensors
- Door chimes
- Motion detectors and cameras
- Lighting and cameras
- Panic features (for in-home invasions or intruders) with direct access to monitoring stations
There are a variety of cameras available to homeowners that you can install yourself and monitor from your mobile device. For example, many homeowners see benefits in having doorbell cameras, like Ring or Nest.
Doorbell cameras protect you by showing who is at your door, or even give you the ability to monitor package deliveries. Most cameras have optional subscription costs for storing videos in the Cloud. Before purchasing a doorbell camera or home camera package, make sure to check out subscription rates and features and benefits of each product.
Suggested Camera Improvements:
- Place exterior cameras at all vulnerable entryways.
- Purchase a Cloud storage subscription for saving videos.
- Add interior cameras near entryways as a safeguard from exterior cameras that may lose their power or be destroyed by an intruder.
The last item in your home security audit is to think about your home’s overall privacy level to the outside world.
- Do you use blinds or curtains on your windows/doors at night?
- When no household members are home, does the home appear empty or occupied?
- Do you keep your vehicle unlocked on the driveway or in front of your home?
Suggested Privacy Improvements:
- Close all blinds and/or curtains at night, so that intruders cannot see into your home to “scope” out your vulnerabilities. Our construction team can assist you with adding features like textured glass windows to provide privacy for certain rooms.
- Keep parked vehicles secured and avoid storing valuables in the vehicle that can be tempting to intruders.
- Keep your exterior well-lit at night to ward off any intruders.
- Keep your interior lit when not at home to give the appearance that your home is occupied.
If you are considering a new home or a remodeling project, the professionals at Prominent Builders are happy to talk with you about your home security concerns. We can assist you with incorporating various measures, like smart wiring and devices, that will enhance the security of your home. Contact us today for a consultation.