An old saying basically states that to beat a crook, you have to think like one, but thankfully, not many of us are any good at trying to think like a burglar. A lot of different factors combine to make a safe, secure home in Toronto, and your home’s exterior doors are a key part of that equation. For the safest and most secure home, any part of your house’s exterior that isn’t solid wall, should be viewed with suspicion.
All exterior doors and windows fall squarely into this category, but less obvious things like pet doors and skylights should be taken into consideration as well. Anything or anyplace that a would-be home invader could gain access to the interior of your home should be reviewed to ensure it is as safe and secure as it can be. This, of course, will go hand in hand with a few simple home safety practices that even your kids should be familiar with.
The Safest Exterior Doors in the Greater Toronto Area
No home is 100 percent burglar proof, but your real goal as a homeowner should be to make your home as uninviting as possible to a prospective thief. Every point of access around your home should have the best constructed, most secure exterior doors possible.
- Main Entry – Go with a sturdy hardwood or steel door, with small windows, or none at all. Make sure it has strong locks, a chain, and a good peephole.
- Garage Door – If your garage door has an automatic opener, make sure the outdoor switch requires a key, or keypad, to activate.
- Outside Kitchen or Garage Doors – Access doors leading into the garage, kitchen or mud room need to be as sturdy and secure as your front door, but they don’t need to be pretty. And for access into your garage or mud room, energy efficiency is not as big a factor, so a less expensive door can be installed here.
- Patio Doors – These big sheets of glass are perhaps the biggest risk factor in your home’s security profile, but all modern glass doors are constructed from tempered glass, which is very hard to break. An alternative for your patio would be French doors with smaller, separate windows made from a tough synthetic, like Plexiglas or polycarbonate.
- Pet Doors – Most pet owners just have one, usually on a back door or kitchen door, and it is not unheard of for a home invader to gain access through one of these, but to a potential burglar, a large pet door can mean a large pet, so in some cases this is more of a deterrent than a liability. Pet doors do secure from the inside, and you should keep yours that way when your pet isn’t using it or when you are away.
Other simple tricks to increase the security of your Toronto home include exterior lighting, security cameras, properly placed landscaping elements, and you may want to consider having a large dog. A well-lit home and yard will send a clear message to criminals that says, “Keep walking, buddy.” Surveillance cameras placed in conspicuous locations around entryways and blind spots send that same message. Incidentally, there are many “decoy” cameras available that look like real cameras, right down to a little winking red light, but don’t actually function, and are a lot cheaper than the real thing. Some nice, thorny bushes, like holly or roses, planted under all ground floor windows will seriously affect a burglar’s desire to break in through this route. The safest, most secure Toronto home will be well-lit on the outside, with thick holly bushes under the windows, surveillance cameras placed in obvious locations, and a German Shepherd chained up in the yard. Your home will most likely fall somewhere in that gray area between this ‘super-safe’ home and one with open windows, no front porch light and a sign in the front yard that says “FREE STUFF!”
Learn How to BE Safe and Secure
Your family’s habits can also have an effect on how safe your home is. If your kids have to stay at home for a couple of hours after school, before you get in from work, make sure to educate them on how to stay safe during that critical time. If they are allowed to answer the telephone, make sure they know it’s NOT okay to tell people you aren’t there, and the same holds true for visitors at the front door. Have them say you can’t come to the door (or phone) because you’re in the shower. Make sure they understand that you will keep them informed of any deliveries you are expecting, such as parcels or important documents, but probably not pizza deliveries. Many would-be home invaders have used these tactics to get the upper hand on “latchkey” kids.
Many people swear by the added peace of mind they get from an automatic, remotely monitored home security system and, for the most part, these are a real benefit, but they have certain disadvantages as well. A system with a “panic button” can be useful in a potential home invasion scenario, but by the same token, every family member will have to know an access code to disarm the system when they arrive home from work, school, or other activities. These systems can also alert emergency services in the even of fire, break-in, or even detection of dangerous carbon monoxide but, depending on the monitoring company, response time is questionable at best. Also, these monitoring services get paid monthly for their assistance, whether you need it or not. It’s generally cheaper to have a dog.
So many factors can affect your family’s safety and the security of your Toronto area home, but you know it’s smart to give this your extra attention. When you want to make sure your home is as safe as it can be, start with the windows and exterior doors, and call Toronto Doors and Windows for expert guidance.