How to Perform a Home Security Survey

We need to educate the public to better understand the role of the locksmith as their security professional. A locksmith/security professional does much more than change the combination of a lock and originate and duplicate keys. We know the types and...

Do the door locks, entry and deadbolt, provide the proper level of security? Does the deadbolt have a one-inch bolt and the entry lock have a dead latch? If not, recommend the proper level of security for the home.
  • Are the door locks properly installed? Lubricate and check the operation of the locks.
  • How much gap is there between the door edge and the strike plate? If there is more than 1/4-inch gap, you may want to install an additional strike plate or a reinforced strike plate.
  • Can the door lock knob or lever be reached through a mail slot? If so, it is advisable to raise the door lock.
  • Is there a pet entrance in the door? If yes, is there a method to secure the pet door? If not, a piece of Plexiglas with a heavy duty showcase lock or locks can be used to secure most pet doors.
  • Is the home equipped with sliding glass doors? If yes, can the sliding panel be lifted out of its track? If yes, open the slide door and install several screws about two feet apart along the visible length of the upper track sticking out far enough to stop the sliding door from being lifted out. Is a key-operated auxiliary lock used to secure the sliding glass door? If not, recommend the use of either a key operated lock or a keyed bar to secure the door.
  • Does the door from the garage or the basement to the living quarters have locks that provide a sufficient level of security? If not, recommend installing appropriate locks.

Let's discuss the windows:
Windows are vulnerable points of entry. Check the windows that are easily accessible from the ground, including the first floor and basement windows. Check out second-floor windows that are quickly accessible with the use of a ladder or an overhanging tree.

  • Are all of the windows in operating condition and equipped with adequate locks? If not, recommend appropriate window locks.
  • Can the windows be left open for ventilation and still be secured? Talk about different window locks that are designed to permit ventilation.
  • Are the areas surrounding the windows free from concealment including a structure or landscaping? If not, recommend cutting back any plants or trees.
  • Do windows have screens or storm windows that lock from the inside? Remember, an aluminum or fiberglass screen does not provide protection.
  • Do any windows open into areas that may be hazardous or offer special risk to burglary (for example, windows that overlook an alley)? These windows need to have additional security including security screens, grills, high-impact windows, etc.
  • Is the exterior adequately lighted at all window areas?
  • Have the homeowner remove any objects that can be used as a ladder to gain access to second floor windows.
  • If the home is equipped with a window air conditioner, is it secured from the inside of the residence? If the air conditioner is secured from outside, a burglar could remove the air conditioner and gain access to the residence.

The garage door is designed to provide access to a vehicle and convenience for the homeowner. Many residences have an automatic garage door opener. Some of the older openers have a fixed code, which can be compromised. Several garage door opener companies offer an upgrade to new remotes and an add-on control unit that incorporates rolling code technology.

  • Is the automobile entrance door to the garage equipped with an adequate locking device on the inside and outside in addition to a garage door opener (for example, hasps and padlocks on the outside and inside)?
  • Are the hasps and padlocks properly mounted and appropriate for the residence? Make sure the hasps are mounted with bolts that cannot be removed from the same side.
  • Is the garage door kept closed and locked at all times? Remember most garages contain tools that can be used to open the connecting door.
  • Is the outside swinging door entrance to the garage equipped with the appropriate locks? This door is usually on the side of the garage that cannot be seen from the street.

Burglars will go for the residence with the least amount of resistance. If there are two residences, one with a deadbolt lock and the second without a deadbolt, a burglar is more likely to target the second residence. So here are some additional recommendations you can offer your customer.