Photo Credit: Timsamoff at Flickr

Keeping a safe and secure home is one of the most important things you can do. Without security and peace of mind, all the hard work and love you put into creating a home can be taken from you. With the majority of break-ins happening during the day, it is important your house is secure at all times.

The first step to securing your home can be taken before you move in. Make sure the locks on your new house are changed pre move-in as you never know who had access to the house under prior owners. Moving forward, make sure anyone you give a key to in the future is trustworthy and responsible. This includes housekeepers, neighbors, friends, and anyone else who might need to get into your house. Many people hide an extra key around their home in case of emergencies. If this pertains to you, be smart about your hiding place of choice! Pulling the classic "key under the doormat move" will leave you feeling foolish if something ever happened while you were away. By leaving your house key in an obvious place, you're basically inviting an unwanted guest into your home and giving them access to your valuables. The next step to protecting your house, valuables, and most importantly your family, is to make sure your points of entry are secure. Forced entries, such as a kicked in door, are the most common types of break-ins. Doors and locks are two extremely important pieces to preventing a forced entry into your home. This is an area where choosing the cheaper alternative can come back to bite you. Invest in a solid wood or metal door with a strong lock and deadbolt. Another important component of a strong door is a strong strike plate. Believe it or not, the best lock in the world will fall short if you have a weak strike plate. Strike plates can be purchased separately from any local hardware store for around $10 and are relatively easy to install. Once you have a secure door and lock, use it! Many people only use their deadbolt at night which can be a huge mistake. As mentioned, the majority of break-ins happen during the day so using your deadbolt can mean deterring a burglar while you are at work. Again, your locks only work when they are used! New security technologies are finding a more dominant presence private homes. However, thumbprint technology and passcode initiated locks don't always equate to better protection. As tested by consumer reports , many locks, including hi-tech security locks can be disabled with a simple drill. Do your research before purchasing a lock system. When you're away, make sure your vacant house isn't apparent to the world. Set your outside and inside lights on a timer as to simulate human activity. This will deter suspicious people from preying on your house while you are away. And finally, the most important aspect to keeping your house secure is to be aware! Consciously making the decision keep your doors locked, being aware of your surroundings, and noticing anything out of the norm can become the most useful tools in the security of your home.

To ensure maximum results from your new doors and locks, contact your local Mr. Handyman here for professional advice and installation.