Burglar-proof your home with simple, cheap modifications

Tighten up home security

Thieves are always looking for easy targets. Alabama averages about 93 burglaries a day, with only about a 15 percent clearance rate. So we all need to do everything we can to burglarproof our homes. Some of those changes can be simple and cheap.

"What we see most of the times with burglary is an unoccupied dwelling. Nobody's home and they are in and out quickly," explained Hoover police officer Brian Hale. He says you should have several layers of security.

First if you have a security system, advertise it with signs and stickers and make sure it's on. Officer Hale says most front doors are pretty secure, so burglars prefer a side or rear door which is easier to kick in. "I've seen so many crime scenes where these door frames splinter," remarks Hale.

He recommends a simple change from 1/2 inch screws to three inch for the door hardware. "If we were to get the three inch screws, they go all the way into stud. It doesn't make your home Ft. Knox, but they will have to work at it, to get it open."

Consider upgrading all hardware. Most of us have the lower contractor's grade for door knobs and deadbolts. "If we get grade one, that's the highest residential security deadbolt," says Hale.

Security film or burglar glazing makes it harder to break a window by reinforcing the glass. It looks similar to tinted glass. For lighting, upgrade to LED's which are brighter. Use a dusk to dawn setting on your timers and motion detectors. Remote timers allow you to turn on lights and televisions for periods of time while you're gone.

Remember the master bedroom is the most likely target where a thief can grab and go with things like jewelry or guns.

Getting to know your neighbors who can look out for your property won't cost you a dime. Also make an inventory list of your valuables with serial numbers. That along with pictures, can be vital in finding your possessions.

And if you see something fishy in the neighborhood, call police. Often they hear after the fact, that homeowners noticed something suspicious.

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