BLOG & HOME SECURITY TIPS
Tip #1 – Secure Your Garage Doors From Burglars!
An amateur burglar can open your overhead garage door by breaking the glass windows (if any) or by drilling a hole into your residential garage door, and then using a long hook tool to pull the emergency release wire. When the emergency wire has been pulled, the door disengages from the garage door opener/motor. Once that happens, the door can be opened manually in matter of seconds.
Even a large and heavy double car garage door can be opened manually by a single burglar, as the spring system counters the actual weight of the door. In the video below, you can learn how to secure your emergency release wire so that it can only be pulled down after the zip tie has been removed from inside of the garage.
Please note that you should keep a pair of cutting pliers in your garage, just in case you need to pull the emergency release wire yourself. You can get cutting pliers at any hardware/dollar store. You can get a set of 3 cutting pliers for only $12.98.
The zip tie add-on will increase your garage door protection but when you leave your home for a longer period of time, make sure your garage door lock is preventing the door from been opened. You can get a garage door company to install one for you, or you can buy it from us and install it yourself by watching this YouTube video: Garage door lock installation Video
Tip #2 – Install Entry Door Reinforcement Kit
Entry doors can be kicked-in very easily, even by a teenager that wants to gain access to your home. You MUST install an entry door reinforcement kit, as it contains longer and more durable strike plates which will make your entrance doors and frames much more secure.
The cost of the kit ranges anywhere from $70 to $100. You can get it a bit cheaper on Amazon, but we recommend that you get it at your local hardware store. That way, you can replace or return the kit if it won’t fit your door.
Tip #3 – Install A Security Bar On Sliding Patio Doors
There are sliding patio doors and windows on the ground floor of most residential homes. Sliding doors are very heavy due to the cold Canadian climate. A set of 2 glasses installed on each door (insulated glazing) to increase the insulation.
When you slam the sliding door to close them, some of its crucial parts like the handle, lock or rollers, will be getting looser and looser. Eventually, if they get loose enough, it will be very easy for a burglar to break into the door in a matter of seconds because they will take advantage of the gap between the door and the frame.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that you buy and install an internal security bar. It is fairly easy to install one by yourself and it will be a cheap and effective prevention measure for door break-ins. We recommend that you install this adjustable security bar, and not use a piece of wood as some homeowners do. It will cost only $21.97 at Home Depot, and it works well.
Tip #4 – Install A High Security Pick-Proof 1-Inch Throw Deadbolt
Most standard residential locks, deadbolts and knobs can be picked in a matter of seconds. You MUST upgrade them to make sure your home is safe and secure, and that no one can gain access to your home while you’re sleeping or away from home.
Also, a standard door knob/handle that is installed on common exterior doors has a fairly small and short latch. You should have at least one 1-inch throw latch (usually a deadbolt add-on) on each door.
After installing a door reinforcement kit, a burglar won’t be able to break your door or frame as they try to kick them in. However, if it’s only a standard door knob, or one without a deadbolt at all, the door knob will bend or break after just a few attempts.
You should buy a high security deadbolt. It will cost you around $70 to $120 and it will make your door pickproof. In addition, high-quality deadbolts are reliable, built to last and come with keys that can’t be copied (if you choose so).
We recommend that you purchase Mul-T-Lock or Medeco deadbolts, although locksmiths and door companies can get you some cheaper alternatives. Here are 2 different high-quality options for non-branded deadbolts. Give us a call, and we will provide you with a medium security deadbolt for your door. (North York Area – Suite 226, 415 Oakdale Road, Toronto)
You should look for single cylinder
(key is only for the outside)
Amazon – Medeco Maxum Deadbolt
Tip #5 – Change All The Locks And Tumblers When You Move Into A New House
It doesn’t make a difference if you are moving into a newly purchased house, or if you are renting it temporarily. You can never trust the previous residents of homes or offices, as they can keep a copy of the current keys and gain access easily. They can do all this without leaving any break-in traces either. Moreover, even if you met the previous tenants, it is likely that the locks have not been changed for more than one year. Because of this, some other previous tenants can get into your house.
A Lock Re-Keying vs. Lock Changing
Any mobile locksmith can re-key the locks of your interior or exterior doors, even mortise locks of commercial storefronts can be re-keyed. The re-keying process is when the pins that are located in the cylinder are changed, and there is no need to replace the entire lock. You can ask a locksmith to re-key all the locks or some of them for the same key. If you require more than 3 copies to the same lock, let the locksmith know in advance, just in case he doesn’t carry a key cutting machine on his van.
A lock re-key service is more affordable than changing your locks but when it comes to front entry doors, we highly recommend changing the entry door locks to a new high security mortise cylinder (See Tip #4 above). The reason is that this cylinder is made of drill-proof steel, and they are very hard to pick (open with specialty tools).
Tip #6 – Install A Magnetic Door Alarm Sensor On Your Front Entry Doors. Install A Matching Solar Powered Wireless Siren Out of The Reach of Burglars
There are many expensive and sophisticated alarm systems, but our advice is to use door magnets and a wireless siren that are powered by rechargeable batteries. There are door magnets which have the siren embedded into them, but they are not effective. As soon as the burglar opens the door, he would be able to smash the siren or remove its batteries. This would deactivate the siren.
There are magnets that can activate wireless sirens. These sirens can only be disabled by the remote control that comes with the magnet. You should buy the magnet sensors and the wireless siren, and have the wireless siren installed very high. Use the help of a ladder to do this and put the wireless siren in a place that can’t be reached from the 2nd floor window. It will be impossible for a burglar to reach the alarm and shut it off at this height, and the alarm will force him to run away immediately. You can glue the wireless siren to the external wall using THIS FOAM.
**Contact the supplier before you order those products
We do recommend you getting and installing a wireless SOLAR-OPERATED siren that can be installed high. Then no one can disable it by cutting the power to the siren. If you are looking for a simpler solution, you can get this product for $30:
Tip #7 – Install An Outdoor WIFI (IP) Camera With Night Vision And Live Mobile App
The advantages of modern IP cameras are:
– Affordable cost – Around $80
– All footage stored on a remote cloud server
– Live monitoring option from a mobile app
– Night vision, Full HD, waterproof / outdoors
– Intelligent Motion Alerts, Email Alerts/Snapshots
An IP camera would be a great door break-in prevention measure. You should install the camera on the front of your house. When burglars see an outdoor camera, they suspect that there are some indoor cameras, and a home security alarm system installed.
Amazon Price: $79.99
WiFi Wireless IP Security HD Camera
Preparing Your Garage Door For Winter
Winter’s coming, and with it, shorter days and plunging temperatures. Most homeowners take a number of steps to prepare their home and yard for winter, but one thing often overlooked is the garage door.