Evaluating Home Security

Dated: 10/07/2013

Views: 2647

While it’s always important to make sure you home is as secure against intruders as possible, it is equally important to be aware of the existing security in a home or apartment when you first move in there. This doesn’t just mean checking for a security system. Evaluate the home or apartment, the surrounding neighborhood, and the statistics for the area before deciding if this is where you want to live in the years to come.

The Risk
You can have the best, most state-of-the-art security system in the world. If you live in a crime-ridden neighborhood, you are a lot more likely to need it. Determining the existing level of crime in a given neighborhood is not always easy to tell at a glance. Don’t be deceived by a clean curb and a fresh coat of paint. It takes research to know what the neighborhood is really like.
The house or apartment also needs to be evaluated before you put down a deposit. If there is a broken lock or a weakened doorframe, make sure it gets fixed prior to you moving in to the space. In addition, the repairs should be covered by the previous owner or the building manager. Get that repair promise in writing before any money changes hands.
What to Examine
One early indication of a problem is if you see bars on the windows of your building or the other buildings in the neighborhood. This indicates that there is a high level of vandalism or robbery in the area, either now or in the past. Check all of the locks in your potential home to make sure they function properly. Also make sure the locks are sufficient for the door that they support. For example, an exterior door that only has a doorknob lock on it is woefully insufficient to protect against intrusion. Exterior doors need at least a knob lock and a deadbolt at the minimum.
Check the door and window frames to look for any sign of wear or rot. Any weakness needs fixing. The windows need to be sturdy and without any cracks. Any sliding glass, both doors and windows, need dowel rods in the tracks to help prevent the glass from being slid open from the outside. If your property has a fence, examine it for any holes or weaknesses. If the fence is heavily slanted and not standing up straight, it should be repositioned in the ground at the current owner’s expense so it is sturdy.
If the house or apartment has an existing security system, examine the individual components, and have the current owner show you how the system works. Get familiar with the panel and the various devices. Anything that doesn’t work properly needs replacement. You may also require additional door or window sensors if the existing system doesn’t have one at every entry point. Contact the monitoring company to find out their terms, and decide if you want to use their service. If not, look for alternatives. If the owner is taking the security equipment out during the move, look into getting a replacement system that is equal or better than what was there previously.
The Neighborhood
Investigate your neighborhood thoroughly before moving in to a new house, apartment or condo. Call the local police department, and ask about the current crime statistics in the area. Talk to the neighbors if you can to find out how safe they feel living there. Examine the street lights to make sure they all function properly. Drive around the neighborhood one night before you make a purchasing decision to get a feel for how different the place feels in darkness compared to daylight. Go online and look for any news stories about crime in that area. If there are schools nearby, look into the rate of juvenile crime, since petty vandalism or narcotic use may be higher. The more information you gather, the better off you are in making an informed choice of how safe you and your property are in the new location.
It takes time to research a potential new home and neighborhood. However, the hours you spend doing your diligence saves you potential years of living somewhere that isn’t safe for you. Your home should be as low-stress as possible. It needs to be your haven from work and the stresses of daily life. Living in daily fear of an assault or robbery undermines that goal. If anything seems off about the place you’re thinking of moving to, find another option instead of trying to fortify the existing one. http://kimberley.findessexcountyhomes.com

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