When economic times are poor home burglaries go up. There are a number of simple tips that all homeowners can follow to keep their home safe and avoid burglary. A little common sense and knowledge can go a long way toward keeping you and your family safe.

Doors to Avoid Burglary

Good quality doors and locks are the first step in preventing a home invasion. All exterior doors should be solid core or metal. You should ensure that you have a strong garage door as this is one of the easiest places to enter your home. The door going from the garage to the home (if the garage is attached) should be as strong as any other door in the home.

Make sure that the doors to your home have both a peephole and a chain lock. You need to know who is knocking before you open the door to a stranger. A chain lock will assist you in checking the identification of unexpected visitors without becoming vulnerable.

Locks to Avoid Burglary

A high quality dead bolt is important to keep burglars out of your home. Locks have grades and the best grades are grade 1 and grade 2. The lock should be attached to the door using a 4 screw high security strike plate. The area where the lock and door meet is the most vulnerable to a quick hard kick from a burglar.

Sliding Glass Doors are Easy Entry Points

Sliding glass doors are very easy to break into. The "locks" on a sliding glass door isn't a lock at all. It is a simple latch which can be easily opened. Place a dowel on the tracks to keep the door from being opened without removal. Sliding glass doors can also be lifted off the track for entry. Make sure that your door has an anti-lift device.

Securing Windows

Windows, like sliding glass doors, don't have actual locks. They have a latch. The latches should be secured at all times. Don't leave your windows unlocked at night or when you are not at home. Dowels can be used to prevent horizontal windows from being opened and anti-lift devices can be used for vertical windows.

Know Your Neighbors

Getting to know your neighbors, and letting them get to know you is a great way to avoid burglary. If you know who should be in the neighborhood a burglar has less chance of wandering around unnoticed. If everyone knows everyone else any stranger will be very obvious.

Interior and Exterior Lighting

There should be a light or 2 on in your home at night. A cheap timer is a good way to have lights come on and go off at different times of the night. This will make it look like there is someone in the house who is awake. Exterior lighting will make a burglar feel exposed. Have a few exterior lights to make your home less inviting to unwanted trespassers.

A burglary is a violation of a home. Once a person has been violated it takes a lot of time to recover and feel safe again. Preventing a home burglary before it happens is the best way to not end up feeling unsafe in your own home. Following a few simple commonsense steps and possibly getting an alarm system will stop many burglars in their tracks. Burglars want to get in and out quickly and if you make it too difficult for them they will just go on to another house.