Home Security Tips
There is an unfortunate influx of break-ins in the St. Louis area around the holidays. As seasoned locksmith professionals, we have discovered several ways to increase your home security while you're traveling both near and far this holiday season.
Evaluate the age and function of all external door locks
One of the easiest ways for a burglar to enter your home is through an unlocked, or aged locked door that no longer functions properly. Be sure to check the locks on all your external doors to see if any need updating before you leave town. Locks that have been through significant wear and tear are more likely to be broken into with picking tools, or even human force.
Consider installing a home safe
This one sounds like a no brainer, but putting your most precious commodities or documents in a safe guarantees that if a burglary does occur, the items most valued by your family will be safe and secure. There are many home-friendly safes that are easily concealed in a closet or under furniture, the extra security and added peace of mind is extremely comforting for many of our customers across St. Louis.
Windows are a convenient point of entry
Often, those looking to break into your home will check the most easily accessible windows to see if any of them are unlocked or convenient to open. If you have old locks on your windows, particularly those on the ground floor of our home, we would suggest checking on the functionality of the locks before heading out of town for the holidays. In our experience, we have found that replacing accessible window locks with keyed lock options will add an extra layer of security to these entrance points.
Locate your spare keys before you leave
Locate all of your spare keys and put them in a safe space. Leaving stray spare keys lying around in cars and beneath doormats increases the risk of unknown entrances while you are away. In the same respect, it is always wise to give a spare key to a trusted neighbor or family member for emergency purposes.
Change your security codes before departure
Change the codes on your keypad locks before heading out of town. Often, we find that garage and keypad lock codes have been shared with neighbors, friends and family members over time, leaving your home vulnerable. We often suggest changing keypad codes, even if they’re just changed to single-use codes, to give homeowners the peace of mind that they are the only people who will have access to their entryway while they’re away.
Avoid detailed social media posts
Be cautious with your social media sharing. Nowadays it’s normal to update your 500 closest friends about your travel plans. But, it’s important to be aware that posting about leaving town offers an opportunity to those looking to take advantage of your home in your absence.
Be smart on garbage day
Leave boxes from holiday gifts in your garage until your neighborhood’s recycling collection. If this is not possible, fold your boxes inside out before setting them at the curb. Both practices will prevent those who pass by your home from knowing what new or expensive items are inside.
Never run external lights through an internal outlet
Though this is a less common practice than it used to be, some homeowners still choose to run their external holiday lights to an internal outlet by means of a cracked window. This is never a good idea, as allows one window in your home completely open for unwanted entrances. Plus, it can increase your heating bill.
Make your home look lived in
Setting both internal and external lights on timers will give passers-by the idea that there is someone occupying your home. You can also consider having a neighbor bring in the mail or take out the trash. Having someone visit your home once a day to make sure everything is secure is a great way to make the house feel lived in, and will provide you with additional peace of mind.
Avoid placing expensive items near windows
Try your best not to leave expensive items in sight through your front windows. When those thinking about robbing your home don’t see anything worth taking, they typically move on to their next option. If you can move big ticket items to the back of your home or a closet, unwanted guests are more likely to walk away.
If you are interested in preforming a tune-up of your home's current security measures, contact us or call our Kirkwood store today at 314-822-7300.