Easy, Cheap & Affordable DIY Ways to Improve Home Security
Have you just moved into a home or want to quickly improve your overall home security?
Here are seven DIY home security tips that you can take care of easily and affordably yet they are very effective and will greatly improve your home security.
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Top DIY Home Security Tips
All of the home security tips below apply to an existing home you’ve purchase, while tips 3-7 apply to new and existing homes (i.e. tips 1 and 2 do not apply to new homes).
1: Have Your Home Rekeyed
Did you know that most home burglaries (more than 80%) occur by getting in through a home’s door? Your door’s security remains your best line of defense. Even home alarms only sound after someone has compromised your security.
If you’ve just bought a home, the very first thing you should consider is getting the home rekeyed. Rekeying locks is the process makes your current locks work with a new key. Even if you knew the home sellers our trusted that there’s no way they would use their key to get into your home, it’s not them. It’s the neighbors, baby sitters, pet walkers, kids, nieces and nephews that they’ve given that key to that you want to protect your home from. Rekeying ensures NO ONE with a previous key can get in.
Existing locks can be rekeyed, and you do NOT need to buy new locks.
2: Change Your Mailbox Locks
In 2017 nearly 7% of consumers became a victim of identity theft. That’s nearly 17 million victims. Does your new home have a lock on the mailbox or one of those community bank of mailboxes? Rekey your new home’s mailbox for the same reason you rekey your home-to keep people with working keys from getting in.
If you have a current working key, you local Locksmith sells replacement locks. The lock removes quickly with a single nut in the back. Just take it your local locksmith for replacement (there are several different types). If you don’t have a key, contact your post office. Some post offices will still change the lock for you for about $50. Most will send you to a locksmith. When you don’t have a key the lock can be drilled out and replaced. At the time of a home rekey, ACME Locksmith performs this service for less than the post office.
How to Replace a Mailbox Lock
How to replace a new mailbox lock
Additional DIY Security Tips for Existing Homes & New Homes
3: Protect Your Home from Lock Bumping
Did you know anyone with a $3 key, bought easily online, and an internet connection can get into your home in a matter of seconds? It’s called lock bumping. See What is lock bumping?
There are several ways to stop this home invasion tactic without replacing your existing hardware.
Our favorite and our #1 Residential Security Tip is the Ultimate Flip Guard Deadbolt Lock. This little device locks your deadbolt in place so not even a working copy of your key can open the deadbolt from the outside of the home. It can only be secured from the inside of your home so it is ideal for when you are home, or for those who come and go through the garage door. This lock is easy to install and any good residential locksmith providing home services will have one on their service vehicle for quick installation at the time of a home rekey.
What is Lock Bumping – How to Stop Bump Keys
What is Lock Bumping and How to Stop It.
4: Secure Sliding Glass Doors from Being Lifted Off Their Tracks
Sliding glass doors are also a common entry point. Most people just toss a wooden stick down in the track and are done with it. Unfortunately, this approach is inadequate for a few reasons. First it the Arcadia door is unlocked at the latch, the stick can usually be bounced out of the tracks. Second and more importantly, with a simple screwdriver the sliding glass doors can be lifted off their tracks (even when locked) for easy access to your home.
Wooden sticks offer no protection against this.
A new product the double bolt sliding glass door lock prevents sliding glass door from being lifted out its tracks.
This lock is placed above your existing lock. It has a bolt that secures the door from both the top and bottom of the lock. It is the only lock on the market that prevents the door from being lifted out of its tracks and it withstands up to 1000lbs of force.
Install this product a bit higher on the door and you gain the benefit of child safety by preventing the child from opening the door and walking out.
5: Secure Your Garage Door
Many garage door openers have an emergency release cord.
It’s purpose is to disengages the garage door opener should it ever malfunction. However, when the door is closed, this cord hangs right in front of the garage door seal. It can be easily fished out using a clothes hanger. Once pulled, the garage door will open freely, and an intruder has free access into your garage and all the time required to break into your home.
We highly recommend you cut this rope short enough that it cannot reach to the garage door opening when the garage is closed.
10-Second Home Break In – $0 Fix – DIY Home Security
Quick Home Break In Through the Garage
6: Prevent children from Leaving the Home Unknown by You
If you have small children, once they learn to walk, they’ll want to explore. What you don’t want is for them to leave the home without your knowing about it. We already discussed the sliding glass door lock that can prevent this.
The next level up in security and preventing kids from existing a wooden home door is to install another deadbolt up higher, out of reach of children.
We recommend a half deadbolt. Is is the best deadbolt for a door because no one outside the home knows it is installed.
The additional deadbolt has no exterior key so no one trying to get in will know that the deadbolt is there. Because of this it can only be thrown from inside the home and if you are out, you will need another exit (like through the garage).
By adding another deadbolt you are distributing force to another point in the door making the door that much more difficult to get into by force for a big door security improvement plus, it will help keep your children safely in your home. This lock will require professional installation by your local locksmith.
7: Reinforce Your Door
You door latches, strike plates, and hinges are most likely secured by measly 1/2 inch screws provided in the box by the manufacture. These tiny screws don’t penetrate the door’s framing and are a weak point in your door’s security. Take them out and throw them away. Replace everyone of them with 3 to 3 1/2″ screws. A 3″ screw will penetrate through the door framing into the 2 X 4 behind it for a HUGE improvement to the door’s strength. This, combined with the half deadbolt installation outline above will make your door nearly impossible to kit in.
If you want to take it to the maximum level of security, consider Door Reinforcement.
ACME Locksmith performs free home security assessments as part of any scheduled service. Simply ask your locksmith when he’s onsite, and he’ll be happy to assist you.