Now that summer’s over, it’s time to make sure that our home security is tight for fall and winter. We like to call this Fall Sweeps, because you’re going to “sweep” your home in order to assess that all of your entry points are secure and that your security devices are in good working order. This should actually be done a few times each year, so be sure to bookmark this page so that you can return to it periodically.
Sweep One: How Secure Are Your Doors and Windows?
Take a few minutes and walk around your home right now. Ask yourself questions like if you were locked out of your house, how would you get in? Do you have a secret entry method that you’d rely on like a window that doesn’t lock properly or a door that is easy to unlock without a key?
For doors and windows that are securely locked, how many locks does each one have? Can your door locks be bumped? How difficult would it be for someone to bypass a lock or break any glass windows or panels to get inside of your home?
Realize that most burglaries happen in the daytime during the week when most people are at work. Also, even if your neighbors hear a sound, most will pause for a moment to listen for other sounds and when nothing else is heard, they will return their attention to their previous activity. Most people will barely give a second thought to glass breaking or a heavy thud. Keep this in mind when performing your sweep and consider protecting your home with locks that cannot be bumped, as well as glass break sensors and a security alarm.
Sweep Two: Where Would a Burglar Hide?
Walk around your home’s perimeter and take note of any places where a burglar is likely to hide. Pay special attention to shrubs, porches or even objects like barbecue grills and trash cans. For a moment, think like a burglar and consider where you could hide while waiting for the right opportunity to enter the house.
Next, walk around your home’s interior and assess how much of your home’s exterior is actually visible to you from inside. For example, can you see your entire driveway and your garage’s exterior door from inside of your home? Are there places around your home that are like blind spots when you’re on the inside looking out?
Every place that you cannot see from the inside of your home is a potential security risk, for sure. Places that you can see, however, may also be a security risk, especially if your visibility is minimized at certain times of the day, such as at night. Consider placing security cameras at every entrance around your home. Also, make sure that exterior entrances are well-lit at all hours of the day and night. Install outdoor lighting in any areas where a burglar may hide or where a visitor may encounter an injury due to poor lighting.
Sweep Three: Is All of Your Equipment Operational?
Unless you have fake security cameras installed, all of your security devices should be fully functional. Take the time to check your cords, wiring and power supplies to make sure that everything is operating as it should. Check camera angles to be sure that viewing fields are where you want them to be and make any adjustments, if necessary.
Sweep Four: How Vulnerable Does Your Home Look From the Outside?
Once again, imagine yourself as a burglar. Stand at the curb in front of your home and consider, strictly by sight, whether or not you’d contemplate a break-in. Are there any lawn signs or window decals that may lead you to believe that the home’s owner has invested in home security? At a glance, can you tell whether or not the home has a burglar alarm or whether that alarm is monitored?
Review Our Home Security Checklist
If you haven’t already done so, we strongly encourage you to read our security checklist. There, you will find additional information on places around your home where attention to detail is needed on the security front. While performing your Fall Sweeps, this is also a good time to review the checklist step-by-step just to make sure that all of your security bases are covered.
Your Ideas for Fall Sweeps
What are some additional ideas for performing a Fall Sweep on your home? Have you ever done a security sweep before? Did you find any gaps in security that surprised you or that you wouldn’t have noticed without taking time out for a full assessment? We love reading your comments and look forward to you leaving a few of your own ideas and suggestions below.