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Don’t Overlook Basement Security

If you are like most of us, you probably don’t think much about the security of your basement. However, you might want to start doing that. Why? Because burglars love to get into homes by crawling into the basement. They know that most people don’t put a lot of security there, so it gives them easy access. Here are some tips to ensure your basement is locked up tight:

  • If you have a door leading to the basement, make sure there is a good lock on it. Also, get a good, solid door. If the door is hollow, it’s very easy to kick in. Try to install the door so that it opens outwards. This way, it’s very difficult to kick in.
  • Speaking of kicking in, if your door opens inward as most do, you need to reinforce that door and the door frame. Check out the Door Devil door reinforcement kit. It makes kicking in a door extremely difficult.
  • Make sure all windows to the basement are visible from the outside. Windows hidden by shrubbery are perfect windows for burglars to get into since you can’t see them. A dark night paired with dark clothing with the covering of a shrub makes a burglar almost invisible.
  • Speaking of the windows, you should also consider placing bars across basement windows. There are different types of bars on the market, and some are quite beautiful. So, you can improve the look of your home while also securing it.
  • If bars aren’t your thing, you can also install security film onto the windows. This way, if a burglar tries to break the window, the glass will remain in place. You can install this film yourself quite easily.
  • If you have a security system or motion sensors, which you should, make sure that the basement windows and doors are covered by them. Make sure that your basement windows are also monitored for glass breaking, too. Also, consider putting a sticker on those windows to let burglars know that your home has a security system in place.
  • Secure your home from the inside by keeping things like chairs or ladders away from windows. Even if a burglar gets through the glass, they might think twice about jumping several feet down onto the basement floor.
  • Keep valuables out of site. Don’t showcase all of your belongings to just anyone who looks in the window. Burglars often target homes when they can see the valuables inside. If they can’t see anything of value, it’s often not worth the risk. So, put valuables away or move them to an area of the basement where they can’t be seen. Also, consider putting up curtains or frosted glass sheets so burglars can’t see inside.
  • If your basement is the equivalent of a man cave/sports bar equipped with neon lights, know you will be a target. So do everything above.

These are just a few tips to help keep your basement, and ultimately, your home, as safe as possible by simply utilizing the practices above, you can greatly decrease the chances that a burglar could get into your home through the basement.

Robert Siciliano is a home and personal security expert to DoorDevil.com discussing Anti-Kick door reinforcement on YouTube. Disclosures.

40 Practical Tips to Keep Your Home Safe and Secure

You have undoubtedly seen tips for protecting your home, but you might not have seen them all. In no particular order, here are 40 tips that you can use today to keep professional burglars from targeting your home and keep safe from hazards: 

  1. Install a peephole.
  2. Keep your doors locked all of the time.
  3. If you do not have a large dog, set it up so that it looks like you do. Get a worn leash and drape it over a chair outside or place an old dog bowl with water out on your deck.
  4. Speaking of dogs, place a “beware of dog” sign on your property, specifically the back.
  5. Do not leave ladders outside. At least lock them up.
  6. Never leave the garage door open unless you are watching it at all times.
  7. If there is no man living in the home, leave an old pair of men’s work boots out near the front door.
  8. Place fake…or even real…video cameras outdoors near the front door.
  9. Install a security system that includes lights with motion detectors at all points of entry.
  10. Use deadbolts on all doors.
  11. Stash your valuables in socks inside of your child’s room, such as in the closet up high. Burglars rarely check a child’s room.
  12. You should also store valuables in a locked, fireproof safe.
  13. Don’t conceal your windows with shrubbery. Instead, plant thorny bushes by all of your windows.
  14. Cover windows with penetration-proof film. Keep shades down and all curtains drawn during the night.
  15. Make sure there are no valuables that potential burglars can see through the windows.
  16. Consider building a “secret room” in your home, like a panic room.
  17. If travelling, put a hold on your mail and newspaper delivery. Also, make sure you have someone mow your lawn and talk to a neighbor about parking their car in your driveway.
  18. When away at night, set up a timed lighting system.
  19. Do not post any vacation or evening plans on social media…they are watching.
  20. Check all of your windows and make sure the locks work. Keep your windows locked at night.
  21. Put a home security sign in both the front and back yard of the home.
  22. Put security company decals on your windows.
  23. Don’t answer the door unless you have a visitor that you are expecting.
  24. Clean up brush or dried leaves from the yard. These are excellent hiding places for thieves.
  25. Make sure your voice mail recording doesn’t tell callers that you are not home.
  26. Make sure the address numbers on your home are large and easy to see for police responding to an alarm.
  27. When getting service in your home (technicians, installers, cleaners etc), check windows after they leave. They might unlock windows for burglars.
  28. When working with salespeople, service people, survey takers, cabbies, or anyone else, do not reveal any travel plans.
  29. Keep all flammables away from your home.
  30. If you smoke, rinse all butts with water. Only then should you throw them away.
  31. Do not leave the home if you have a candle or fireplace burning.
  32. Unplug all countertop appliances when not in use.
  33. Give your spare key to a neighbor that you trust. Do not leave it under flower pots, welcome mats, or plastic rocks.
  34. Your front and back door can easily be kicked in. Install high-grade door reinforcement kits, such as Door Devil Door Reinforcement. Google it. I have 2, and I love it!
  35. Do not leave hot things plugged in, such as irons or hair straighteners, unless you are using them at the moment.
  36. Always have a phone near your bed for emergencies.
  37. If a man shows up representing an alarm company, assume that he is a bad guy. Don’t let him in. Don’t even open the door.
  38. Do not allow delivered packages to sit outside the door. Only accept packages that you can sign for.
  39. Before leaving your home, turn your home phone’s ringer off. This way, burglars will not hear unanswered rings.
  40. Buy a lifesize card board cut out of a sports figure or superhero that can be displayed in any window in your home. This gives the impression someone’s always home.

Robert Siciliano is a home and personal security expert to DoorDevil.com discussing Anti-Kick door reinforcement on YouTube. Disclosures.

Securing Your Home’s Door: Secrets Your Locksmith Won’t Tell You

Are you making a big home security mistake? If you are leaving your doors unlocked, or if you are using low quality lock systems, you are putting yourself…and your home…at risk.

However, just because your door is locked, it doesn’t mean that a burglar can’t kick the door down. But, having the door locked can make it more difficult. This is only one secret that your local locksmith won’t tell you, but there are several more. Here are a few:

Securing Your Doors

  • Reinforce the door frame around the hinge and lock. Consider door reinforcement kits, such as Door Devil.
  • Install a peephole.
  • Don’t answer the door unless you are expecting a visitor. Tell the same to your kids.
  • Install hardened steel deadbolts. These are highly encouraged. Make sure they have a five-pin tumbler, too.
  • Consider multi-lock deadbolts or vertical deadbolts.

Accessories for Your Door to Make it More Secure

  • Consider a door brace. These will help to prevent a burglar from opening the door.
  • A wedge or door stop will likely not totally stop a burglar, but if you choose one with an alarm, anyone in the home will definitely hear it.
  • A door chain will not protect you. It doesn’t take a lot of pressure to break them.

Additional Tips for Door Security

  • Replace your hollow wood door with a metal or solid wood door.
  • Choose a door that does NOT have a window. An intruder can easily break a window and access the lock.
  • If you have a current door that DOES have a window, install attractive metal bars over the glass.
  • Make sure the hinges of the door are not visible on the outside of the door.
  • Consider installing a cross bar. This is a heavy steel bar that you can place across the inside of the door.
  • Inspect deadbolts. Any deadbolt that is low quality should be replaced. If you want to have even more security, install a second deadbolt.
  • Use door braces when you can. Take one of these braces and stick it under the knob of the door. The other end will remain on the floor at an angle to the doorknob. These are great devices, but too many people forget to put the brace up before they go to bed or leave the home. It is useless if it is just leaning against the wall, and it only takes a couple of seconds to put into place.
  • For the best door security, think about installing some type of door reinforcement kit. Imagine how secure your door would be with 1/16-inch of heavy steel. No one could kick through that! Also, imagine a four-foot metal bar that you install right over the strike plates and screw directly into the frame of the door. This will give you one tough security system on your door, and it’s exactly what the door jamb security kit from Door Devil offers. See here on YouTube.

Robert Siciliano is a home and personal security expert to DoorDevil.com. Disclosures.

Busting Down the Door: 12 Ways to Stop Burglars from Entering Your Home

There is no such thing as a home that is fully burglar-proof, but there is also no such thing as burglars who have the skills of Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible. With the right security in place, you can get your home almost burglar-proof.

When most people think of security, they only think of a few devices, and though they are great to have, they don’t protect you fully. Yes, you might have fake looking cameras that deter thieves, but what about those who try to get in anyway. Kicking the door in, which is an easy way a criminal gets into a locked home, can still be done. The only thing separating a burglar from getting in through a locked door is half inch pine molding. A 12 year old boy can kick in a door easy enough. You need to beef up your doors.

Here are some door reinforcement devices that can help:

  • Deadbolt/door knob wraps – these strengthen the immediate area around the lock
  • Door bar jammer – fits snuggly under the doorknob
  • Door brace – device that makes it more difficult to kick a door down
  • Door frame reinforcement – installed on the door jamb and made of steel

You can also use commercial kits like the Door Devil. This is a kit that contains a device made of heavy steel. It is installed over the door jamb, and is screwed directly into the frame. The system is easy to install, and it will add another level of protection to your home. When you combine this with other types of security, such as motion detection lights, surveillance cameras, and a security system, it will be very difficult for burglars to enter.

Here are some more general tips to keep your home more secure than ever before:

  1. Always keep your doors locked. Keep them locked when you are home and even during the day.
  2. Always keep your windows locked. This includes those on the second floor. A burglar can certainly climb.
  3. Keep the blinds and curtains closed. This helps to ensure that no one can look into your home to check out your valuables.
  4. Use top-flight locks and door reinforcements.
  5. Install security films on your windows. These will help to give the panes strength and will prevent penetrating objects from coming in, such as crow bars and baseball bats.
  6. Collect your mail and newspapers as soon as possible when they arrive.
  7. Give your home that ‘lived-in’ look with a system for home automation turning lights on and off.
  8. Place men’s work boots at the front or back door and make sure they look worn and scuffed. If you park your car out in the drive, place men’s gloves on the dash. If burglars see this, they will think twice as they will believe there is a large man in the home.
  9. Place a large dog bowl by the door, and make sure to make it look realistic. Add chewed up dog toys or a leash to the area, too.
  10. Make sure to trim shrubs that are hiding home entry points.
  11. Go to Google News. Type in your city and state along with the phrase “door kicked in.” You will likely be shocked by what you find. This will be more motivation to protect yourself.
  12. Make the investment into a beefy home security system. The best systems offer full alarm and police station monitoring along with cameras providing a clear view of what is happening in your home when you aren’t there. You can watch right on your mobile device.

Robert Siciliano is a home and personal security expert to DoorDevil.com discussing Anti-Kick door reinforcement on YouTube. Disclosures.

These Real-Life Stories Will Show You the Importance of Door Security

If you are like most people, when you think of burglars, you think that it “won’t happen to me.” But, it very well could happen to you, because it happens each and every day across the country. I have taken some time to gather some recent real-life stories that will not only show you that it can happen to anyone at any time, it will show you how important it is to secure your doors.

Menlo Park, NJ – Series of Burglaries with the Doors Kicked Down

In less than one week, there were three burglaries in Menlo Park, NJ. All three of the homes had the doors kicked in. Jewelry, electronic devices, passports, and computers were all taken.

Milwaukee, WI – New Year’s Eve Break-In

Around 11pm on New Year’s Eve, a Milwaukee woman was the victim of a break-in when several suspects kicked her door in. Her alarm went off, scaring the burglars, and they ran off. She called 911, and police said these suspects had done the same throughout the neighborhood.

Elmwood Park, NJ – Burglar Kicks Down the Door and Steals Valuables

A woman came home to find her door kicked in and the bedroom light on. She immediately went to her neighbor’s home to call police. The burglars took jewelry and ransacked the home.

Torridge, North Devon, UK – Woman Comes Home to Find Door Kicked In

A woman came home to find her front door kicked down and her Xbox console missing. As you can see, these crimes don’t just happen in the US. This is a worldwide problem.

Lafayette, IN – Four Suspects Kick in Door

Four men kicked down an apartment door and began rummaging through a desk looking for money and marijuana. The tenant, who was home at the time, tackled one of the men, who was arrested; the other three ran away.

Chesterfield County, VA – Grandma as a Victim

An 80-year old grandmother was the victim of a home invasion in the middle of the afternoon. A group of boys kicked her door right down while she was sitting on the couch playing cards.

Boston, MA – Man Loses $4,000 in Valuables

A Boston man came home from work one day to find his door kicked in and almost $4,000 of valuables gone. This included a television, appliances, and furniture. He reported a shoe impression on the front door where burglar kicked the door.

Edmond, OK – Family Heirloom Stolen

An Oklahoma woman came home to find her door kicked in, her dogs locked up, and a treasured family heirloom missing. In addition, they took her gun, her laptop, and even the pillowcase off of her bed.

Decatur, GA – Woman Kidnapped After Her Door is Kicked Down

A daughter arrived to her mother’s home to find the door kicked down, the home ransacked, and her mother missing. She was later found safe in an adjacent county, and she claims she was kidnapped.

Portland, OR – Businesses Targeted by Thieves

Three businesses were broken into in Portland, OR at the end of January. All three of them had the doors kicked in, giving the thieves access to the stores.

Robert Siciliano is a home and personal security expert to DoorDevil.com discussing Anti-Kick door reinforcement on YouTube. Disclosures.