Tips for a Secure Home and Peace of Mind

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Homeowners often worry about keeping their homes safe and secure for their families. And it's no wonder: nearly 70 percent of home break-ins are in the form of kick-ins to a door, according to the U. S. Department of Justice.

You have many easy and affordable options for ensuring a safer home, and ultimately, greater peace of mind. Here's a home security checklist to get you started.

Assess the perimeter. Walk around your yard at different times of the day to judge lighting and shadows. Think about how family members enter and exit the home from different doorways. Do you have sufficient exterior lighting to ensure that they can enter your home, can see and can be seen? Install better lighting near every entrance. Take a look at your landscaping from an intruder's point of view. Plant some thorny or prickly shrubbery below the windows and next to entrances so there's no place for someone to hide in waiting.

Add an alarmed lock. Most alarm systems trigger after a door has already been opened. However, if you don't have an alarm system, an alarmed lock is a great alternative, and will allow you to instantly hear what's happening at your door. For example, Schlage,offers a first-of-its-kind Keyed Entry With Built-In Alarm. It's an alarmed lock with the added safeguard of a sensor alarm that lets you know when it is being tampered with. It has three alarm modes, which can be set to alert you to different types of activity at the door - when it's been open and closed, when it's been tampered with and when there's been a forced entry.

"An alarmed lock provides an added layer of security that many homeowners' are looking for and can put their minds at ease," says Chris DeSchamp, Schlage portfolio leader, electronic security.

The battery-operated units, which can be seen at, costs around $99 and are easy to install and are available at select The Home Depot stores,,, and

Safeguard the windows. Make sure your windows are also set up for security. Install quality window locks that keep windows in a closed position, to avoid giving criminals an open invitation to enter. Manufacturers offer a variety of options to safeguard different types of windows including double-hung and casement windows.

Enhance security of glass and wooden doors. Make sure all your sliding glass and patio doors have at least one of the following to prevent them from being opened: a track lock, a hinged door bar, an insertion pin lock or a metal or wood dowel inserted into the track that allows it to be opened only when you wish. It's also a good idea to equip each wooden door with a wide-angle eye viewer so you can identify who may be at the door before opening it.

By making these easy steps to upgrade your home's security, you'll not only gain more protection for your family, but you'll also gain the best security of all - total peace of mind. For more home security ideas, visit

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