TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- On her way to work one morning, homeowner Katie noticed a bicycle and snow blower were missing from the garage. "I'm not a fearful person. I tend to be careful, but not fearful. So more than anything, I was just really really frustrated and irritated and a little, more than a little angry" says Katie. "And secondly felt a little foolish because the side door of the garage had been-was unlocked. It had an old lock on it, we didn't have a key, so it wasn't secured."
Angie's List founder Angie Hicks says if you're concerned about security around your home, there are three things you can do. First, a great improvement is to install deadbolts on your doors. This can be done for about $100 a lock. "When selecting a lock you need to realize that not all locks are created equally so you want to check with the American National Standards Institute to find the rating for each lock you are considering" says Angie.
For Katie, it was worth it. "It cost less than two hundred dollars. You know. And that included the cost of the deadbolt lock and the keys. It was worth it because the bike was worth well more than that, and the snow blower. Which fortunately, we haven't had to use it since it was stolen - we wouldn't have had to use it, but it was worth the investment and we were really pleased that he was willing to come out so quickly."
Before you invest in locks for your door, you'll need to make sure you have a good door, because it doesn't do any good to put a lock on a bad door. According to Angie, "Check your door frame to make sure it's in good condition and then make sure you've got a solid door. If you knock on the door a solid door will sound "dead" when you knock while a hollow door is going to echo."
The final way to increase your home's security is by installing or upgrading your lighting system. Lighting Contractor Ralph Redmond says, "A lighting system will keep you safe, your home safe in a couple of ways. One is well lit pathways, stairways and safer to navigate, plus you'll be able to see tripping hazards if those exist. The other thing is that those of criminal intent would prefer to work under the cover of darkness, so a well-lit home will discourage those sorts of activities."
When installing security lightning, make sure you are using it properly. "When installing security lighting the key here is to make sure you are using it properly" says Angie. "Lights that are left on all the time are often ignored and may not be a sign that you are actually home. Using lights that are on sensors are a much better choice."
In addition, if you are hiring a locksmith to help with some of these security projects around your house, do your research ahead of time. Angie Hicks says, "Make sure that you are using a reputable, local locksmith. They should come in a marked vehicle and you should be able to pay by check or credit card. You should not be expected to pay in cash."
It's also wise to have a security lighting plan for the interior of the home, especially if you plan to be away for an extended period of time. The best timers will allow random settings so there is no fixed pattern to signal the homeowner's absence.
For more information, go to http://www.angieslist.com/home-security-systems/