Five Tips for Improving Home Security

With residential burglaries on the rise during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to bring your “A game” to your home security. SF SAFE has put together our recommendation on five key areas to focus on where even a little effort can make a huge difference toward protecting your property. Here’s the scoop:

Cameras: If you don’t have them already, consider installing security cameras, particularly facing all points of entry, including vulnerable windows. (Ring products or something similar are good options as they can be purchased online and easily installed). SF SAFE recommends having at least one security camera at the front of your house pointing toward the street—and also registering it with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

Lights: Install exterior lights and keep them on during all hours of darkness both outside and inside. Aim to have constant nighttime lighting supplemented by motion-sensitive lighting. You can also create “signs of life” in off hours by setting timers on your lights.

Entry Points: We recommend that all entry doors have deadbolts. SF SAFE’s resident home security expert, Furlishous Wyatt, recommends that your front door is equipped with a single cylinder deadbolt and made of good solid construction. The lock should have a 1 in. minimum standard steel throw accompanied by a reinforced strike plate secured with four 3 in. screws. One of the most important and overlooked doors is the garage-to-house door, which needs to be treated like every other exterior door. Finally, always check your door locks, windows, skylights and alarm system before you leave. EVERY TIME.

Garage Door: With the garage being a frequent entry point for burglars, it’s important to reinforce the glass on the garage door by adding vinyl adhesive to reinforce windows. You can also opt for a frosted or translucent glass design to allow sunlight in while obscuring the contents inside. Another way to secure your home is to install an interior manual garage door lock. When leaving for extended periods of time, disconnect the automatic door motor and install a manual lock.

Landscape: In securing your residence, it’s also important to be mindful of your landscaping. Mr. Wyatt suggests making sure there aren’t any plants, bushes or hedges covering windows or doors that would allow a perpetrator to hide behind while they try to break in. Also be sure to confirm there aren’t any tree branches that offer rooftop or second story access.

These are just a few of SF SAFE’s home security tips, and there are many others where those came from! Click to learn about organizing or joining a Neighborhood Watch Group or to have one of our home security specialists visit your home (even during the pandemic) to do a free security assessment.

-Kathy Chouteau