Your home should be your “safe place”; literally and figuratively. In the same way that we ensure that our car, our health or our teeth get a regular check-up, so should we give our homes an annual lock home inspection and security check-up.
Burglars, thieves and other unsavoury characters are always on the lookout for a home that looks vulnerable. Make sure that home is not yours, by giving it a regular inspection.
Before you begin, compile yourself a 10 point list based on the specifications of your home. It is always best to work off a list and to have a plan. Once you have made your list, ensure that you begin your check-up from the outside in, in other words, begin your inspection in the street, and finish inside your house.
Here is a 10 point list to guide you through your annual home security check-up.
1. “Case” Your House
Begin by looking at your house from the outside. Walk past it and look at it with “burglar eyes”. Go and stand across the street and look at it from that perspective and if your house can be accessed from multiple points, look at it from all of them.
Look for where your home security is vulnerable and think of ways to improve it. Broken or missing lights, rusty locks, cracked windows, flimsy doors and dilapidated fences are all potential security breaches. Note down all your potential problems and address each one in turn.
2. Check All Your Lights
Your first port of call when checking your home’s security is to check all your outside lights. Make sure that all your lights are in working order, and replace those that are not.
Another point to consider are areas on your property that remain shaded and can be used as potential access points by burglars. Add more lights in those areas and consider connecting them to motion sensors. A well lit property is a good deterrent when it comes to thieves.
3. Repair Your Fence
Burglars can see how aware you are of your home security by the state of your fence; not by how high it is, but by how neat and well looked after it is. The fence of a house says a lot about the mindset of the owner of the house.
Look for holes that can be fixed and other things that need to be mended.
4. Inspect Your Windows
Check your home for broken or cracked windows, and make sure that you replace them immediately. Cracked or broken windows are an invitation to thieves and burglars to enter, as then their job is already half done.
Don’t forget to check the window handles and window locks (if you have any) to ensure they are secure. If you are concerned about burglars gaining access to your house from your windows, consider installing window locks if you don’t already have them .
5. Inspect Your Doors
Check all your external doors including the door hinges and frames. Ensure that they are sturdy and in good condition. Take note of the ones you feel need repair or need to be replaced, and endeavour to do so immediately.
6. Double Check Your Locks
No lock home inspection is complete without checking your locks; they are the base of your home’s security and without a good lock, your house is a sitting duck. Make sure that you inspect all the locks, inside and out. Check for signs of damage or rust, and ensure that they work properly and that you have clearly marked keys for each. Ask your Local Locksmith about new lock designs and consider upgrading all your old locks.
7. Inspect Your Security Alarm
Check your security alarm and make sure that it is clean and in good working order. If you do not already have an alarm installed, now would be a good time to consider getting one.
This might also be a good time to tackle the next item on the list.
8. Test Your Home Security Company
You can either arrange to do a security drill with your security company, or you can surprise them and check their response time and efficiency in handling the situation. A reliable home security company is a must. If your provider is left dissatisfied, consider changing to another company.
9. Don’t Forget The Fire Alarm
Often overlooked fire alarms are part of your home’s security. They keep you and your family as well as your property safe. Check your fire alarms and make sure that they are clean and old batteries are replaced.
This might also be a good time to make sure that you and your family know what to do in the event of a fire, a security breach and a first aid situation. Make sure that young children know how to dial 911 and where to find the first aid kit.
10. Check The “Extra” Places
This is a time to note and check the “extra” places that you might have overlooked; the garden shed, garage, basement, or anywhere else where a burglar can gain entry to your house. Make sure all these access points are secure.
This lock home inspection and security check-up should not take longer than an hour or two. It is invaluable for the security of your home and your family. By looking for ways to improve the security of your home, you will always be prepared; remember that a small change can make a big difference.