Once upon a time, home or residential security was a phrase that didn’t exist. All one needed to be secure in one’s home was four walls and roof. Perhaps a bar over the door to keep out the odd bear. Then someone decided to put locks on the doors, though you or your parents probably remember a time when those didn’t really get used all that much. Maybe if you were going away for the weekend you’d bother to make sure the windows were closed (in case it rained) and that the doors were locked. The shed and the garage may or not get locked over the weekend. If they did, your dad would say something like “it just keeps honest people honest.”
Now, unfortunately, things are different. Crime rates are generally still low so long as you live outside of the city but the criminals themselves have gotten more intelligent and a lot more brazen. I’ve heard multiple stories of people getting woken up in the night by the sound of a jiggling doorknob. Someone was checking to see if the front door is locked, even while people were home. They’ll patrol neighborhoods ahead of time to get an idea of the residents’ routines. I’ve even heard of people in my own neighborhood get burglarized by a group of kids breaking into cars and garages in broad daylight.
What’s the moral of all this? While a simple door lock or even a closed-door is enough to “keep honest people honest” it is not enough to deter the modern criminal. That means you should take residential security seriously and kick it up a notch. Or three. Fortunately, we here at Bellevue Locksmithing are here to help you find the best solutions to help you sleep and vacation soundly.
The very first step is, of course, the humble door lock. Not that it need be totally humble. It shouldn’t be something easily picked with a paper clip. You should also have a deadbolt. Again, it’s harder to pick and harder to force open. Combined with a door that opens inward with the trim overlapping the door you are already fairly secure. No one will be able to easily slide a credit card, or even a crowbar into the doorjamb to force the latch open. If someone wants in, they have to risk a little noise.
Unless they try a different door. Far too many people only have deadbolts on their front doors. Backdoors, sliders, and garage service entrances are often secured with the cheapest locks the builder can get away with and still call it a lock. Wherever possible, make sure you’ve got a deadbolt on every door and again, make sure it opens inward. This is especially true of the side entrance to the garage. If someone can get in there, they have free reign to do pretty much whatever they want. Even if you have solid locks on the door into the house, the burglars are now out of sight of any passersby or even the nosiest neighbor. If you have tools there, they now have complete access to all of them. What about the noise? They don’t need to worry about it. Even if someone hears something, they’ll just assume you’re doing some work in the garage.
A quick note about sliding doors. Locks on these are notoriously cheap. Getting a good one would likely mean replacing the entire door. If you can’t afford that, a quick and low-cost residential security measure is to place some kind of a block in the door’s track. A piece of wood cut to length or even an adjustable closet or curtain rod will make it all but impossible to open even the flimsiest sliding door without risking a ton of noise.
Of course, if you have recently purchased a home, it is always a good idea to change and upgrade the locks. One never knows what loose keys may be floating around out there in the wild. And if it’s an older home that lacks some of the measures discussed above, then an upgrade is in order anyway.
Naturally, should the burglars get in, your most valuable possessions should be safe, especially if you are going to be gone for a while. Whether you need to secure your important documents, a stash of cash or important family heirlooms, Bellevue can help you find the right safe for the right price and even install it for you.
No matter what the current state of your home’s security, Bellevue Locksmithing can help improve it and help you rest better, even when you’re half a world away.