After you are settled into a new house, relaxing after the process of buying and moving, the last thing you want is worrying about your safety. It is an important thing to do before you put away your 'check list from moving' though.
 
 Home security should always be a priority, and almost always should be installed and maintained by professionals. But, if you're going to upgrade your security, it can be helpful to know a bit about what goes into that security. Today's focus is on doors, but we'll talk about windows and sliding glass doors in the future. 
 
Doorknob locks are the most basic type. And with that comes the inherent problem that they are easy to defeat. On doors leading from the outside, they aren't really enough to provide reliable security. They should always be paired with a dead-bolt. An attachable chain lock on the inside might make you feel safe, but is easily overcome with physical force.
 
The Deadbolt lock is a physical safety lock, securing the door in the frame with a metal bolt that slides into a receptacle in the door frame. A study [pdf] by the city of Chula Vista discovered "that 87% of the break-ins ... targeted 'the one door that had no dead-bolt lock.'" The bolt itself should be steel and at least an inch long. The strike plate, where the dead-bolt locks into place, should be securely set into the door frame with screws that are strong, durable and at least three inches long. Shorter screws are easily torn out of the wood.
 
Masha's clients know that having access to her  "concierge program", Masha arranges for her clients to meet with her trusted locksmith to schedule lock replacement after closing. "We are always sharing our keys with neighbors and friends to watch our homes when we travel' says Masha," Its really very hard for us to keep up with where they have all gone and who we have passed them to." She said. "It just makes sense to be safe and secure your home when you buy."
 
There are also a variety of high tech lock systems on the market. Keypads are the most common of these, and are widely and successfully used in commercial settings. Biometric dead-bolt locks read your fingerprint before they release the bolt. These locks are not perfect, and some of them failed in tests conducted by Consumer Reports.
 
The best back up for any door is a good alarm system. The major reason for this is that very few criminals want to get caught, and the alarm is going to scare most of them away quickly.  Alarm systems usually come with contracts for monitoring by companies, so its best to speak directly with those professionals for details on their contracts for security system monitoring. 
 
If you want to do more research, try Consumer Reports which offers a buying guide and a set of reviews. If you're in the market, security is something that we can prioritize as we look at possible homes. Contact me and let's get started!
 
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Masha is a certified member of The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings. Masha is also a certified certified member of  keller williams Luxury International and is also a member of CyberStars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

 

 
 

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photos courtesy tymesynk/flickr.com and vflockcom/flickr.com