When helping homeowners create a complete security plan, we attempt to work with them to “think like a criminal.” Unfortunately, homeowners often struggle to do this while designing their own home security. Of course, this makes complete sense on a very basic level. After all, our customers are not criminals! Therefore, they do not have the know-how and prowess that burglars possess. Before meeting with us, many of our customers think about breaking into homes very practically in terms of speed and convenience of entry. However, real thieves often think in much different terms. For example, thieves often value “clever” and “low-risk” break-ins over “quick” and “messy” ones. Some thieves commit their crimes in such a manner that the break-in goes undetected for days! In this post, we share some security threats homeowners overlook, and how to address them.

We will begin with a look at securing specific types of doors that often receive too little attention. From there, we will explain how some second-story windows make easy targets for criminals. We will also do the same for basement entry points. Additionally, we will share tips to help you secure exterior garage doors, which often secure homeowners’ most expensive and valuable possessions! Until recently, garage security had remained a very difficult task for security companies for many, many years.  Now, let’s get started by focusing on doors that create easier entry than you may have imagined.

Doors with Windows or Pet Doors

Many entry doors have large windows that allow homeowners to see their visitors’ smiling faces before letting them in. Additionally, these doors can let light in and increase the ambiance in the front of a home. Unfortunately, these features to also come with a security risk. Large windows in doors can allow burglars to gain entry by smashing the window and unlocking your door. Of course, the same goes for pet doors as well. While thieves likely cannot crawl through these spaces, they can often use them to reach up and unlock a door.

A Schlage turn bolt

Turn bolts, such as this model by Schlage, add protection to your doors while remaining unseen by potential thieves.

We provide a couple lock-hardware related solutions to this issue. For starters, double-sided deadbolts require a key to open either side of the lock. This means that burglars cannot unlock your door by reaching through. However, we do recommend using caution when selecting the doors that get these deadbolts. The need to use a key to escape your home could spell danger in the case of a fire.

On the other hand, turn bolts, such as the one pictured, can solve this issue. We install these bolts on one side of your door. This means that someone breaking in does not know where we’ve installed this bolt. If we install turn bolts on the top or bottom of a door in an out-of-reach location, thieves cannot unlock your door from the outside. Furthermore, you can always unlock your door from the inside for escape during an emergency! Next up, let’s see how certain second-story windows create a security threat.

Second-Story Windows with Easy Access

Many alarm customers install all of their security equipment on their homes’ ground floor. Of course, first-story access generally proves easier than climbing to a home’s second floor. However, as with most rules, this one has a couple exceptions. Some second story windows offer easy access by standing on a flat garage roof or the roof of the floor below it depending on the design of the house. Moreover, sometimes this situation takes place in the back of a home. This can add to the security threat as burglars can break in unseen from the street.

“So,” you may ask, “why would a thief use a second-story window to break in when they have ground-level doors and windows?” We’re glad you asked! Simply put, thieves often value the element of surprise. After all, they know that many homes have alarms installed. Furthermore, they even know that most homeowners forego installing second-story contacts. Therefore, these windows can look more attractive to “do-no-gooders” than you think! Scout your home for window access carefully when designing your alarm system! Now, we’ll detail why basement entry points represent one of the most important security threats homeowners overlook.

Basement Entry Points

A basement window with light streaming through

While old basement windows such as this one may escape your mind when designing your alarm system, you can bet that burglars notice these old windows with little to no security while casing out a house.

Many homeowners think of securing the areas of their home that they enter the most. After all, the most commonly-used rooms of your home get the most attention from both a living and security perspective. For this very reason, burglars often target the least popular entry points to breach their victims’ homes. These areas often receive little attention, even when their security hardware reaches its “expiration date.” Basement doors that lead to hatchways, in particular, often have decades-old locks installed on them. Furthermore, basement windows damaged from storms or age get overlooked by homeowners.

This low security, combined with the fact that many basement entry points allow burglars to stay hidden, make them very attractive to creative criminals. Of course, we recommend regularly inspecting the locks on your basement doors and windows. Replace and repair this hardware whenever necessary, even if you won’t “use” it very often. Additionally, we offer alarm equipment that secures these areas. Basement barrier bars, such as the one pictured, prevent thieves from breaking in through your basement windows undetected. Installing a door sensor on your hatchway door also goes a long way towards securing your basement. For more information, feel free to check out our Tips to Improve Basement Security. Last but not least, let’s see why garage entry points have long been one of the security threats homeowners overlook.

Exterior Garage Doors

Exterior garage doors often receive very little attention from homeowners from a security standpoint. Like basement doors, they often remain “out of sight and out of mind” when thinking about a home’s entrances. Moreover, homeowners often focus more on securing the interior of their home than the exterior. Therefore, the best lock hardware sometimes gets saved for a home’s interior garage doors. However, we recommend making your garage as difficult to enter as possible. After all, your garage often contains your cars, as well as other valuable equipment such as snow blowers and landscaping tools. This alone makes giving these doors some real attention worthwhile.

A two-car garage next to a house.

Modern technology has made it easier than ever to secure doors and windows on garages. The exterior door on the far left of this garage would make an especially easy target for criminals if not secured.

For starters, consider installing high-grade locks on your exterior garage doors. Since these doors do not generally act as fire exits, exterior garage doors with windows make a good landing spot for double-sided deadbolts. Additionally, the latest and greatest in security technology also makes it possible for us to install wireless door contacts on your garage doors that connect to your alarm system. Our preferred wireless alarm contacts, DSC’s “Power G” Series, has a tremendous wireless range. This allows us to install wireless door sensors in locations we previously could not. Now, we can install these sensors on garage exteriors and even doors on sheds and fences that older alarm technology would have forced us to leave unsecured! This allows your alarm to provide you more security and peace of mind than ever before.

Addressing Security Threats Homeowners Overlook

We hope that this overview of security threats homeowners overlook will help you better secure your own home! Furthermore, we encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about the material in this post. We will happily share our advice to help you achieve the best home security possible. Perhaps you have a good home security plan in place and want to beef it up. Or maybe you’re starting from scratch and want to make your security as effective as possible from the start. Either we, we will be happy to help.

We also offer free home site surveys to both new and existing customers alike. During our visit, we can address any security concerns you may have. Additionally, we can make suggestions of our own based on our observations. Together, we can create a security plan to make you, your family, and your most valuable possessions as safe and secure as possible!


Feature Photo: Nick Youngston on Picpedia. Used under the CC BY-SA 3.0 License.