Not all burglars are stupid, although large numbers of intruders commit some remarkably foolish acts in the course of trying to separate homeowners from their property – and their peace of mind. But one tactic that plenty of burglars have learned is to attack the home at its weakest points, like a sliding glass door. And based on a report, from Orlando, FL, it’s working for them. Homeowners need to wise up, and not just in Orlando, on how they can make their homes safer. Read on!
It often starts with a doorbell ring or a knock at the front door. If no one answers, burglars take that as an invitation to find their way in through one of the most vulnerable entry points of any home: sliding-glass doors. Many homeowners don’t realize that what they might consider to be an adequate barrier to protect their families and possessions is “just a piece of glass” waiting to be shattered, said Orlando Police Department Cpl. Kevlon Kirkpatrick.
Where It’s Happening
That’s what happened last week when three teenage boys broke into a Sanford home while three children were inside. Elsewhere in Central Florida, police in Palm Bay recently issued a warning about burglars smashing their way through sliding-glass doors into homes along the Interstate 95 corridor. Although police could not say exactly how many burglars entered each home through sliding-glass doors, experts agree those are the most difficult places to secure.
What You Can Do
“Hurricane-proofing your home is burglar-proofing your home,” said Kirkpatrick, a crime-prevention and community-liaison officer. An alternative to replacing the glass would be fortifying the doors with a window film. Most homeowners can apply the film themselves, Kirkpatrick said. This layered film will not stop a brick from smashing through the glass, but it will hold the shards of glass together and maintain a barrier between the burglars and your possessions. That means a big mess and a huge delay for burglars.
More Tips on Securing Sliding Glass Doors
Although there are no foolproof safeguards to ensure that a determined burglar won’t get in while you’re away, anything that makes the job more difficult for time-pressed criminals could increase the chance they will leave empty-handed, Kirkpatrick said. Such doors are vulnerable even if not smashed. Standard factory locks can be often be opened with relative ease, and even locked doors can be lifted off their tracks for a quieter break-in — one that can be done without tools. A flat-head screwdriver makes the job even easier. Homeowners have several options to fix those problems. They can be simple: a wooden dowel jammed into the track to prevent the door from opening could slow a burglar. Or they can be a little more elaborate: A sliding bolt can be secured to the frame to prevent the door from moving even if it is lifted off its track.
Police Reference Alarm Systems
Alarm systems are popular options. But they can have flaws. If burglars smash their way through sliding-glass doors, a door-frame alarm won’t necessarily go off. That’s why motion and glass-break sensors should be added near sliding-glass doors. And finally, keeping an eye out for suspicious vehicles or people during the day could help keep a neighborhood safe, police say.
Video Tips for Protecting Sliding Glass
FrontPoint has also worked with eHow, one of the most popular web sites of all time,to develop a series of videos on home safety – and here’s a link to the one we made specifically on the topic of protecting your sliding glass doors. It’s worth a watch.
When burglars get smart, we just have to get smarter. It’s best to bear in mind that most intrusions are random acts, often committed to feed a drug habit. And here at FrontPoint, we’re well acquainted with burglar behavior – such as where burglars break in, and what burglars steal once they’re in your home. These are links worth checking out, since your peace of mind is valuable. And we want to be your source of education when it comes to protecting your home and family.
You might also appreciate our Top 10 Home Security Tips – timely (and timeless) advice on how to make your home less susceptible to intrusion. We also know that a home equipped with a monitored alarm system is only one third as likely to suffer a break-in as your unprotected neighbor. And with a burglary happening in the US roughly every 14 seconds (according to the FBI), we are still wondering why only about one in five homes has such a system – especially one with safer cellular monitoring, such as FrontPoint sells.
FrontPoint is on thecase with systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, and more affordable. As the leader in wireless home security and the #1 rated alarm company in the US, FrontPoint takes residential intrusion very seriously, whether it’s the usual random offense by an amateur burglar, or that rare targeted attack by the “professional.” Either way, you want the odds on your side.