ADT Security Pro - Home Security Blog

Prevent Crime! You Need a Well Rounded Security Plan: Recent Crime Part 3

Posted by Taniqua Pino on Mon,May 02,2016 @ 06:05 PM

Prevent Crime! You Need a Well Rounded Security Plan: Recent Crime Part 3In this 3rd look at recent crime, we'll look at crime prevention and preparedness. 

“I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been lucky.”  Oprah Winfrey

How true that is when a burglar comes knocking. Those that get a lucky break are often the most prepared. 

To recap, Part 1 : recent crime in your area was how to find out exactly what's going on in your community and even stay on top of it with sites like that text you with up to the minute information of what's going on now close to your home. 

In Part 2 : What to do when you have a break-in we looked at what you do when you actually are a victim of a crime specifically a break-in or burglary. 

Here we will look at how a security system and some do-it-yourself steps add the layers of protection necessary to prevent the worse if it looks your way. If you are staying on top of local crime and crime trends, many come to the conclusion that it can happen to you just as easily as the nice couple on the news last night that weren't expecting it. This blog tells you what to do to NOT be them.   

Layer 1 of  Security... Be aware and be prepared.

As with all areas of life, we have to be aware to be safe. It is common for a mugging victim to have been on their phone, digging in their purse or using headphones just prior to attack. 30% of break-ins occur through a door or window that was not locked. As a home security provider, we hear too many reports that a burglary happened and the system was not armed at the time. While this clearly is not every situation, it does show that a good amount of security breaches could be avoided. Let's avoid those ones. 

I know you are busy. How do I know? Because we all are. To prove the point, the most demanded features in a security system are features like phone apps that allow you to arm the system remotely. You know... in case you forget as you are rushing little Suzie off to piano lessons or going over the mornings marketing presentation as you walk out the door. All that juggling makes you forget to arm, or not remember whether you did or not. 

Working safety into your routine takes a bit of focus and a decision to make it part of your routine. 

Here's a few things to think about:

  • Always lock the door behind you, when you are away as well as when you are home.
  • Close door and windows, always. If you have a security system, you can get cheap vent sensors to allow windows and doors to be open for ventilation but activate an alarm if they are moved. The alarm will also tell you if a door or sensor didn't get closed as you try to arm it.
  • Don't answer the door unless you know who it is. There is no reason to talk face to face with the petition signer, the guy offering free paint estimates or car wax sales guy (are you really going to buy car wax today from the door-to-door guy?) If it is UPS, you'll see the big brown truck, other than that, tell them it's not a good time, and do it through a closed door. A valid sales person will happily set an appointment and arrive with identification. 
  • When you park, look around. Don't park next to a big van with sliding doors, take note if there are no other people around and move quickly and with a purpose, have keys ready when returning to your car, especially if you have a panic button on your key fob. 
  • Don't ever leave your garage door opener in the car and if leaving on vacation, disengage the garage door opener and use the slide lock (or install one if you don't have one.)

In every area of safety, it is important to evaluate your habits and then choose the most logical option. Make a conscience decision to take a moment or two a day to evaluate if you are being aware of your surroundings and safe in response to what's going on. 


Layer of Security #2... A Home Security System

If you are serious about security, you need an alarm system. Here's the top 2 reasons why. 

#1. Monitored Alarm Systems inform authorities of a problem when you can't or when logic dictates that other things are more important - If you aren't home and there is a fire, poisonous gas or an intruder, a monitored alarm is there to alert authorities. This can also save Fido who might not be with you when trouble occurs.

If you are home when a fire breaks out, the priority is really not your house or belongings, it's your loved ones. Chances are you will not even think to call 911 or the fire department until every member of your home is safe and accounted for. While your home is not most important, it would probably be great to have ADT get you some help while you save your family. 

As well in the case of a home invasion, you might be able to call 911, you might not. It's not uncommon for them to gain entry by meeting you outside and forcing you in and threatening you harm if you don't deactivate the system. If you do not have a duress code programmed, call the monitoring center today for instructions how to set that up. A duress system disarms and communicates to the monitoring center that there is a hostage situation. 

#2. Security Systems Deters Crime as well -  Studies find that just having an alarm system makes you 3 times less likely to be a victim of a robbery. Another study found that as the number of residential alarms in a community increase, the number of burglaries decreases in that community. Even for the homes that did not have alarm systems installed. In addition to this data, the increase of cameras connected to security systems is allowing residents to spot would be intruders and suspicious activity before a crime is actually committed.

If a burglar does come, having the noise of an alarm is a deterrent from them staying and ransacking your house. Burglars' enemies are time, visibility and noise. A loud screaming alarm attracts visibility, informs the burglar that his time there is limited and now he is surrounded by noise.

Your ADT security system and it's network of monitoring stations are your team or trained professionals sitting on alert 24/7 to respond to any emergency that occurs. If you need an alarm, schedule your FREE home security review today.



Layer of Security #3... Additional Preventative steps for your doors.

Your next layer of prevention is re-enforcing your doors. Figuring out where a burglar enters is not too difficult. For exact percentages of what doors and windows are used most, check out our blog Anatomy of a burglary. In general, a burglar is coming through a door or window most of the time. Thankfully, chimneys have not been successful on most attempts, A quick Google search will provide some hearty laughs at burglars that have tried. Lets just say most leave the chimney to Santa.

Fortifying your fortress can be a weekend job. Just one weekend and you can feel secure that getting into your home is a substantial amount of work more than the average burglar is willing to exert. We'll look at affordable ways to secure your doors and then your windows.

Doors: California code requires that exterior doors on the home are solid. Unfortunately, the hardware used to install them is flimsy. Most likely your door and locks were installed with the the 1/2" screws they come with. So the hinge side of your doors are drilled through a 2 x 4 and the opening side is drilled through 1" piece of soft pine wood tacked to the 2x4. As well, the grain of the wood runs vertically, so the logical way that wood splits is along the grain, when pressure is applied to your door with any force, the 3/4" soft pine will simply split after 1 or 2 swift kicks. 

Here are ways to reinforce your doors:

  • Replace the screws on the hinges with screws that are a minimum of 3". This video shows the difference just adding longer screws will make. If you have only 15 minutes and a couple bucks to spend, this is a game changer of an upgrade!
  • Replace your strike plate with an upgraded steel strike plate with screws that are a minimum of 3" long. This is a 5-30 minute job that will cost you $5 to $75 per door. Do what your budget allows. This site offers a tutorial and videos. 
  • If your dead bolt is less than 1", meaning it goes into the door jam less than 1", consider replacing it. This will require that you deepen the hole which is a bit of work, however, modern deadbolts are 2-3" long, a considerably safer option. When purchasing a deadbolt, resist the urge to purchase based on style and finish alone. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) subjects all locks and components to attacks by hammers, saws, wrenches and other tools. Then it grades the lock: Grade 1 (best and toughest), Grade 2 or Grade 3. Don't purchase less than a Grade 2 lock, go with a Grade 1 lock if it is with-in your budget. 
  • Finally, a door brace. Door braces literally back up the door with a solid brace. The doors don't open. Period. We suggest the On-GARD door brace. it has great reviews and was created by an authority in the field of home security, see it here.

A few changes are required to make your castle into a fortress. If you didn't watch the video about replacing screws, watch it here now. $5 can be the difference between a burglar being inside quicker that you can get in with a key or having the time it takes for 12 - 15 kicks. Most burglars at that point have made so much noise and been exposed far too long to continue. You'll be shaken but it'll be the best $5 spent in your life! Again, EVERY step is a great step so do what your time and budget allow. 

Make sure to share these simple safety tips with friends and family! Use the share buttons up top. 


Layer of Security #4... Additional Preventative steps for your windows.

Again, even with a security system, your home was built for beauty, energy efficiency and a plethora of other reasons that are not to barricade unwanted visitors out. Your windows are another area that are just not strong enough to keep someone out if they are determined to come in. Your security system will surely detect an intruder and send help. Surveillance will capture it on video, but when someone crawls through your window, you are going to be concerned with resolving that initial confrontation or gathering loved ones and retreating to a safer part of the home.

So keeping Ian, the Intruder out is a high priority and here's an affordable way to do it. Several grades of security film are easily available and easily installed. A security film is an adhesive liner for glass that holds fragmented glass together and lengthens the time (substantially) it takes to get all the way through it. Here's a few added benefits:

  • It contains the expected mess associated with a broken window.
  • It prevents an arm or hand from going all the way through and being cut on exposed glass. That's for your safety, in case of an accident.
  • Safeguards against flying baseballs and what ever else hearty boys might "accidentally" hurl at it.
  • It is crystal clear and EASIER to clean that the regular glass, you still have the beauty of your windows and a little bit of smudge resistance for little (or big) hands.

Security film is fantastic for anything glass that could be broken through. Windows, sliding glass doors, small glass portions on a door or garage door, anything. Here's a video showing how tough it is and an actual install of two applications, a larger window and smaller glass panels. You'll also want to do simple things like add inexpensive window locks so they can't slide and place a dowel in your sliding glass door frame. If you have a slider that can be lifted off it's track, replacing it should be on the list somewhere of things to do. 

To sum it up, your home was not built to keep an aggressive intruder out. The materials used to secure a door to the home will not stand up to even a semi-determined burglar. Burglars are very aware of this fact. However, there are not just inexpensive, but down right cheap and quick ways to begin re-enforcing the security of your home. Knowing that the sworn enemies of a burglar are time, visibility and noise gives you the upper hand. If you can lengthen these three, which you can, you are winning the battle. 

Share your ideas with us below, what are you doing to safeguard your home from uninvited guests? 

And if you have not invested in a home security system yet, give us a call and we'll answer your questions or click below if you are ready to set up a FREE home security review and evaluation, we promise, it's no pressure!  Don't forget to give us a holler below, let us know what you think of this information and anything else you'd like to see an article about. THANKS for reading!


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Tags: California Crime, Safety Tips