Security and safety is always an important factor when moving to a new place. Most people just replace the locks or add new ones, and if they’re really serious, some might install a security system to provide peace of mind.
But there’s a basic security feature you should check on before you move in.
Texas real estate agent Mariana Harrison will never forget the advice her father gave her before moving into her first home: Always replace the front door screws.
Harrison says the latches in most front doors generally have screws that are only 1/2 inch long and they easily fall out with one quick kick by an intruder.
Harrison posted the advice on Jan. 23 with a picture showing the screws on Facebook and it had received more than 173,000 views, more than 225,000 shares and around 18,000 comments in five days.
Thanks to her father, who replaced the original screws in her home with 4-inch screws, it’s nearly impossible for a burglar to kick the door in, according to the Independent Journal.
Not everyone is convinced. Facebook user Noah Sabrina Gabel wrote a top comment to Harrison’s post saying:
“I was a combat engineer in the army for 6 years, and part of that job was door breaching. If they know what they're doing those longer screws won't slow them down even half a second. If you're paranoid about burglars get a completely solid door, a kick plate and some good hinges. It will make it harder for anyone to get in that way, including fire/ems. So weigh that accordingly. I would honestly recommend just getting a shotgun, and if you live where you share a wall with someone use bird shot.”
Michael Fraser, a former criminal, also has some essential tips that don’t involve a shotgun:
- Never leave your keys under flower pots, bricks or mats -- these are the first places a burglar will look, especially if it appears such places have been disturbed.
- Photograph valuable items in your home and take a note of their serial numbers. Should you be burgled it helps with remembering items that have been taken and could help recover them.
- Don’t just leave the bathroom light on, as many burglars feel confident enough to enter if they think the owner is taking a bath or shower.
FBI statistics for 2010 note that 60.5 percent of all robberies involved forcible entry, while 33.2 percent were done without the use of force.
Victims of robberies lost an estimated $4.6 billion and residential properties accounted for 73.9 percent of all burglaries in 2010.