If the average homeowner were to make a list of his home’s most important safety and security issues, items like steel front doors and reinforced, gated living-room windows would likely appear somewhere near the top. So too would home security systems and high-end exterior cameras.
But what about basement security elements? For most of us, they wouldn’t even make the list.
That’s one reason—one very big reason—home invaders are so fond of basements. Many basements, even those in the most expensive homes, are not properly secured and are therefore relatively easy to enter. Of course, once a thief manages to work his way inside your basement, the rest of your home and all its belongings are only steps away.
But don’t panic just yet. There are any number of simple security steps you can take that will turn away all but the most determined of burglars.
Secure Your Basement Window
Because basement windows and window wells sit at ground level, they can be an easy way for a burglar to enter your home. We recommend taking as many of the following burglar-proof steps as possible.
- Consider replacing your current basement window with shatter-resistant glass that can’t be quickly smashed. Or, if your basement doesn’t require an emergency exit, replace your window with a glass block, which is incredibly tough to break. If you do decide to stick with a traditional window, however, at least cover it with security film, also known as window laminate. It’ll make an intruder’s job more difficult, thus increasing the chances they’ll simply give up and move on. We especially recommend applying polycarbonate sheets, which are almost impossible to break through.
- When it comes to what burglars can see when they pass your basement window, you always want to block the view into your basement, but you don’t want to block the window itself. Blocking the basement window with, say, plants or shrubbery will give a burglar something to conceal himself with if he tries to enter your home. So keep that area wide open. If possible, keep it well-lit with outdoor sensor lights. Blocking the view into your basement with dark-colored curtains or drapes, meanwhile, will conceal whatever’s inside. If a home invader isn’t certain you have something valuable, he may decide to pass.
- Having a solid, heavy set of iron or steel security bars installed inside your basement window is always a good idea. If you choose to install them yourself, remember that you need to be able to swing the bars open from the inside in case of emergency, such as a fire. If the bars don’t come with their own locking mechanism, take care to keep them securely closed with the most reliable padlock you can afford.
- Do you have a home security system? If so, make sure potential thieves are aware of that fact by placing a security system sticker directly on your basement window, or by placing one of the company’s signs right outside the window.
Make Your Basement Door Burglar-Proof
If your home has a door and not a window that allows access to your basement, you’ll want to take a few slightly different steps to protect it from potential intruders.
- Many newly-built suburban homes, and more than a few older homes as well, are built with cheap, hollow-core doors. These doors are very easy to break through, which is why we recommend replacing your hollow basement door with a solid-core model. Steel and fiberglass are both good choices.
- Don’t forget, though, that even the toughest door can still be knocked open if it doesn’t include a top-quality deadbolt lock. If you have a metal or wood door without a window, have a single-cylinder deadbolt lock installed. A double-cylinder deadbolt lock is what you’ll want if you have a glass door, although we don’t tend to recommend glass doors for basements.
- If you need to provide basement protection on the cheap, something as simple as a security bar can go a long way toward keeping burglars out. A steel pipe or a solid length of 2×4 lumber can act as the bar. The hooks that hold the bar in place can be installed quickly and easily, likely with tools you already own.
Protect Your Family Against Basement Dangers
At Holicong Security, we understand full well the importance of protecting what you love most. That’s why we offer a full, wide range residential security and alarm systems. It’s also worth bearing in mind that human invaders aren’t your basement’s only potential invader. Carbon monoxide, radon, and dangerous forms of mold might also be present. That’s why we offer environmental sensor services, including flooding sensors, along with hazardous gas sensors and detectors.
We’d like to point out that as a local business with strong community values, Holicong Security now has over 60 years of experience providing custom security solutions for residences. So if you need help ensuring that your basement, or any other part of your home, is a serious burglar deterrent, please feel free to get in touch today.