Self-Evaluate the Safety of Your New Home or Apartment

Written by | Updated February 10, 2015

The last thing you want when you move into a new home or apartment is to feel unsafe. You want to move in knowing you are secure inside the walls of your own home.

Let us walk you through five safety inspection steps you should evaluate to determine if your new homes safety is up to par.

1. Inspect Deadbolts

The doors on your home are your first line of defense against intruders. Having secure deadbolts will help make it more challenging for intruders to get through that entrance. Conduct a self-evaluation by following the three steps below to see if your current deadbolts are up to par, or if you should replace them.

    • Check the length of the bolt.
      Short bolts can easily be pried open with tools and blunt force. Check the length of the bolt that slides in and out of the door jamb to ensure it is at least one inch long.
    • Evaluate the Material
      Determine if your deadbolt is made of a sturdy material, like steel, to help keep even the most determined burglar out. Weak materials are vulnerable and easy to get through. A soft metal, such as brass, can quickly and easily be sawed through.
    • Replace Weak Deadbolts
      If you decide to purchase new deadbolts for your home, look for deadbolts that meet the above recommendations and have a high grade of protection. You can even install strike plates or doorjamb reinforcements for extra protection.

2.  Inspect Exterior Doors

While it is appropriate to have hollow core doors in the interior of your home, exterior doors should be solid for maximum insulation, sound blocking, and sturdiness. Hollow core doors are easier to break through. One strong punch or kick could break the door and let intruders into your home.

Check to see if your exterior doors are solid core and replace them if they aren’t. Solid core doors generally weigh more, cost more, and have insets or recess panels. They may also be stained or made out of material other than wood, such as plastic or synthetic material. Ask your local hardware store representative for help choosing one out to ensure you get a quality one without breaking the bank.

3. Evaluate Overgrown Vegetation

You might not think twice about the shrubbery in your front yard, but intruders see your plentiful landscaping as a perfect place to hide. Make sure your vegetation doesn’t work against you by concealing unwelcome visitors.

Look for overgrown shrubbery around the access points of your home, such as your doors, windows, and window wells. Make a habit of keeping these areas well-trimmed or hire someone to do it for you. If you want to deter burglars even further, plant thorn bushes near entry ways or windows.

4. Inspect Outdoor Lighting

It’s no secret that darkness is an intruder’s best friend. Check to make sure you have adequate lighting in both your front and back yards so you don’t give robbers an advantage.

If you don’t have motion sensor lights on the eaves of your home or along the walkways, install them. They help light up your yard if anyone approaches. Having a light over your doorway can also help to keep thieves away, giving the appearance that you someone is home, even if you aren’t.

5. Check for Carbon Monoxide/Fire/Flood Monitoring

Don’t get so caught up with how secure your house is from the outside that you forget to protect yourself from internal threats. Make sure your house or apartment has detectors that monitor for high levels of carbon monoxide, fire dangers, and floods. Check to make sure they’re all operating properly and that their batteries get changed on a regular basis.

The best way to make sure you help keep your home or apartment safe is to install a monitored home security system. With features like home automation services, door and window sensors, and indoor and outdoor security cameras, home security systems can give you the peace of mind you need when you move into your new home or apartment.

Written by Hillary Johnston

A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more

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