If you are handy with a drill, screwdriver, or hammer, you can make your home even safer if you do these simple DIY steps to protect your home and property.
Pin Locks for Windows
Even if you have keyed locks on your double-hung windows, most burglars can easily cut the glass, and use a screwdriver to quickly remove your latches. Even more quickly, they can use a prybar to break the latch. Pin locks are a simple solution. To install, you just drill a hole. If you want to be able to open your windows for ventilation and remain safe, you just drill a second hole.
Pin locks work well on sliding patio doors as well.
Motion Detector Lighting
A proven crime deterrent, motion detector lights are inexpensive and relatively easy to install. If you already have wiring, you can swap out a motion sensor light for your standard floodlights. If you don’t have wiring, a solar unit is a little more expensive, but takes only a few screws to mount.
Would-be thieves can easily remove hinges and other hardware that have exposed Phillips or flat-head screws. Specialty screws such as Allen head, Torx/Star head, or Hex-head cap screws will deter most thieves, unless, of course, they happen to be carrying just the right tool. You would need to purchase a special bit or tool to install these screws, but if you store anything in your shed or garage you value, the investment is worth it.
Secured Shed Door Hinges
Most shed doors swing out, so the hinge pins are accessible from outside. A hammer and long nail can easily pop out these hinge pins, so you can install a security hinge with tamper-proof pins with a locking tab.
Wireless Window and Door Alarms (+Shed and Garage)
If you don’t have a central alarm system, or your shed or garage isn’t on a monitored system, you can purchase inexpensive, wireless door and window alarms. These are activated by opening, not by breaking glass, but no burglar likes noise to draw attention to where they are, so they’ll likely run away quickly.
Dead Bolt Protection Device
In case your burglar is an accomplished lock pick, you can install a deadbolt protection device that slides over the deadbolt handle to keep it from turning. Of course, most security experts advise key-only deadbolts, but if you prefer your latch deadbolt, this is an added layer of protection.
Reinforce Your Door Strike Plate
Your door’s weakest spot is the jamb. Adding a heavy-duty strike plate with extra long screws that penetrate the joists will give you peace of mind that your home is better protected. If your deadbolt was installed in the last 10 years, you probably already have the recommended 3+ inch screws. You can check this by removing a screw to check its length. If it isn’t 3+”, you can easily purchase new, longer screws and replace them. While you are at it, you may also want to strengthen the strike plate as well with a heavy-duty version.
Patio Door Foot or Overhead Lock
You can always secure a sliding patio door with a heavy-duty dowel, but a more convenient and less sightly choice may be an auxiliary foot lock that fastens along the bottom of the door and has a bolt that fits into a grommet to hold the door secure. There is also an overhead lock that attaches at the top of the door. Installation takes 10 -15 minutes.
If you prefer the simpler method of placing a bar in the track, some DIY experts recommend using a handrail purchased from a hardware store that you can stain or paint and seal to blend in with your flooring. If you attach a drawer pull to the bar, you can more easily lift and replace it.
Install a Peephole
If your front door doesn’t allow you to see who is ringing your bell, and you don’t have a camera doorbell, a peephole is an easy-to-install safety measure. Experts recommend a wide-angle door viewer that will let you see more area without distortion.
Switch out Your Garage Door Opener
A thief can break into your car and steal that garage door opener you have attached to your visor, plus get your address from the registration in the glove compartment.
A keychain remote that you carry with you reduces your risk as you’ll take it with you every time you leave your car. You can find a selection of remotes online by typing in the brand of your garage door opener with the word “remote,”
Lock Your Overhead Garage Door
If you are going on vacation, it is a good idea to unplug your garage door, or better yet, lock it. If a burglar gets into your house, this makes it harder for him to back a van into the garage and load up. Most doors have a lockable latch that takes most padlocks, but if yours doesn’t, you can drill a hole in the track just above one of the rollers and attach a padlock.
Sources: American Handyman, Amazon