While you’re house hunting, it’s easy to overlook whether or not the property in question is completely secure. Of course, when it comes down to it, home security is easily one of the most important components to any home. Before you pack up all of your belongings and move in, conduct a safety inspection on your new home to make sure that everything is up to par.
Make sure entry doors are solid.
In the majority of modern homes, it’s quite typical to have hollow doors inside the house. Most entry doors to a house or apartment are solid for security purposes. But every once in a while, you might discover that a solid entry door has been replaced with a hollow one. While this doesn’t seem like it would be a major issue, hollow doors are relatively easy to break. It isn’t a very common occurrence, but you should make sure that solid security doors separate your home from the outside. If there are hollow doors, you should have them replaced immediately.
Inspect deadbolts on all entry doors.
Deadbolts to main entryways should be inspected very carefully for signs of wear and damage. Such entryways should include the front door, the back door, any side doors, and any doors leading to a garage. You should be able to slide in any corresponding keys and unlock the deadbolts with a minimum of effort. Check the deadbolt receiving side to make sure that the hole is safeguarded by a metal plate sturdily fastened to the doorframe. If there is any looseness on the deadbolt mechanism, tighten up the screws. If it seems there’s rust or any other issues with the deadbolt system, get it replaced. Luckily, deadbolts are fairly affordable, so it’s worth spending a few extra bucks to make sure you’re protected.
Check windowpanes and window frames for integrity.
Checking your windowpanes and window frames means making sure that the glass is still firmly set within the pane and that the pane itself is firmly set in the wall. If the window slides or swings open, check the locking mechanism to make sure that it is still sturdy and operating effectively. If anything is out of place, you might consider getting another locking mechanism; or, worst-case scenario, replacing the entire window.
A lot of newer window frames are made out of metal, but some are still made out of wood. If you’re in a home with wooden window frames, check the wood for any decay, rot, or holes. If there’s termite damage, the frame’s solidity and effectiveness may have been compromised.
Trim or cut down overgrown plants and shrubbery.
Trimming overgrown plants and shrubbery might seem like a strange thing to do at first, but these large plants can act as nice hiding spots for potential home intruders. When it’s dark outside, intruders will obscure themselves in tall bushes or trees; thus making it easier for them to actually sneak to your front door unseen.
Inspect any outside lighting.
When it comes to inspecting any sort of outdoor lighting, the kind of home or apartment you have doesn’t matter. If you have outdoor lighting, it’s important that all of it is working. There are two types of lights you should have: entryway and front yard/backyard lighting. Each type of lighting will help deter intruders from even walking up your home. Also, while timed lighting works well at night, you might consider installing motion-activated lights that will trigger in the event someone steps onto your property. This could spook potential intruders from stepping any closer.
Check for Holes or Damage
As you’re looking at a house, walk around the outside and check for any holes or damage to the sides and foundation of the house. If there is access to a basement from the outside, it should be properly protected with a strong lock. If intruders can access a basement or crawlspace from the outside, chances are they’ll also find access to the inside too. To be safe, make sure that any possible entry point to your home is safely guarded.
Even when everything looks right as rain, taking the extra step to maintain a safe home can make all the difference. The number of things to inspect might seem a little overwhelming, but it might be more overwhelming to feel vulnerable in your own home. Worse comes to worse: if you’re having trouble determining what aspects of your home are “up to par” or not, you can always get a second opinion from a friend. Simply checking on a home can mean all the difference.