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Home Protection: Doors and Windows

Break-Ins

The vast majority of property thefts occur when criminals enter a property through one of the main doors.  Burglars often reside in close proximity to the homes that they rob, which makes it easy for them to scope out the residence, the comings and goings of the inhabitants and the value of the assets inside the home.  Almost all burglars (98%) enter the property on the first floor.  This is because they expect the residence to be uninhabited and plan on a quick get away.

 Government Regulations and Insurance Claims

Homes that carry property insurance but are not properly protected will be exempt from insurance claims.  Some states, such as Texas, partner with insurance companies and law enforcement agencies, to offer homeowners insurance discounts that are based on the degree of protection they employ - 5% off for exterior entrance locks and 15% for having a monitored security system. They even issue protocol that residents must follow, such as “Sliding glass doors must be secured by secondary locking devices to prevent prying and lifting” and “if the dead bolt locks are within 40 inches of breaking glass, the bolts must be flush mounted against the door.”  It’s a good idea to check with your state’s department of insurance of local law enforcement agency to determine what discounts they offer and, in some cases, security systems they recommend. This is often dependent upon specific municipal codes that require UL certification or false alarm reduction mechanisms.

Sensors and Motion Detectors

Most security systems come with at least one motion detector, which is typically placed near the front door, or main entrance.  Additional motion detectors, magnetic sensors, sonic and glass break detectors can be purchased to cover all vulnerable areas, such as doors and windows.  One sensor usually covers a range of about 35 ft, but some sensors are recommended for certain areas. 

Motion detectors that trigger lights are useful in darker areas like garage doors and backyards.  Video surveillance is also an option.  If you want to monitor potential threats before they happen, you can place a camera outside your property to determine any shady behavior.  It’s also more likely that you will be able to retrieve your property if a criminal is caught on camera.   The most common placement of surveillance equipment is near entrance and exit points.

 Web-Based Access Control

Alarm.com specializes in wireless home monitoring that is entirely web-based.  Their integrated solutions allow you to track all entry and exit points, which can be helpful if you have pets, small children or elderly guests.  You’ll be sent regular notifications that you can check at leisure to verify that everyone is where they’re supposed to be.  The system can even tell if you garage doors, windows, medicine or liquor cabinets have been opened or left open for too long.

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