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Why a Home Security Audit is Just as Important as a New Home Walkthrough

Purchasing a new home is an exciting milestone, but it comes with a lot of responsibility. We’ve all heard of a home walkthrough, but have you considered doing a security audit on your new home? A new home walkthrough is typically performed by a realtor, contractor, or homeowner before moving in. The purpose of this inspection is to ensure the home is free from defects and issues that could lead to costly repairs or homeownership headaches afterward.

A security checklist is very similar. It will help you get an understanding of your home’s existing level of security and point out vulnerabilities that need addressing. With this security checklist from Pop-A-Lock, you can have peace of mind, feeling safe in your new residence.

Examine the Entrances

First things first, check all the entrances to your home, including the front door, back door, and the door from your home to your garage. Check to make sure each door is made from solid metal or wood, as hollow doors can be easily knocked in. The door should also fit snugly into the door frame, and the frame should be tightly secured to the wall. Make sure your locks are working and that you have a deadbolt lock in addition to your doorknob or door handle lock. When moving into a new home, you may want to consider lock rekeying. This won’t require a whole new lock installation, but ensures that you know exactly who has access to your home. 

A photo of a bright, modern home. The shot is from the dining room into the kitchen and highlights beautiful, airy windows full of sun.

Check the Windows

Next, you’ll want to check all the windows in the house.  Windows should also be made from solid material and fit snugly into their frames. The windows may have locks but these can be broken, so check your windows for areas that are weak or can easily be accessed by burglars. You’ll want to take a look at the locks near the bottom of the window as well as those on the sliding glass. If you have a two-story home, or windows that open to a hazardous area, make sure these windows are lined with window screens.

Smoke Detector and Fire Extinguisher

Some other things to check inside the building are the smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly and have new batteries. You can easily check whether your fire alarm is working by pressing and holding the test button on the smoke detector. You should hear a loud noise. If you don’t, you may need new batteries or an inspection performed on your smoke detector.

New homes are not always equipped with a fire extinguisher. Though it may feel like a pain to purchase a new one, it can be the difference between a quick fix and a disaster.

Update Your Security System

If you don’t already have a security system installed in your home, consider installing one as soon as possible. Most break-in attempts occur through easy access points like doors or windows. Having a security system installed will notify you if someone has broken into your home, or entered at a time when you’re not home. If your new home does have a security system, check that it is working, and more importantly, that you know how to use it. After all, a security system is only effective if it is used consistently.

Photo of dusk where the sky is getting dark, but the horizon is filled with the sunset’s glow. In the image is a beach home with towering palm trees and outdoor hanging lights.

Keep the Perimeter of Your Home Well Lit

Now that you’ve checked some things inside the house, let’s walk around the perimeter of your home to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. You want to make sure the outside of your home is well lit on every side. This will make it more difficult for burglars to break in and harder for them to escape without being noticed. You want your lighting to be motion-activated, especially near the doors and windows where they are most needed.

Clean Up That Foliage

This may sound like a landscaping tip more than a security tip, but make sure your yard is well kept. Overgrown bushes and trees make for an easy hiding spot for potential thieves. You’ll want to trim your bushes up to the height of your windows so that you can see outside without obstruction.

Make Sure Your Address is Visible

It is also important that your numbered address is easily legible from the street. If plants are blocking their view, or the paint has faded over time, you’ll want to prioritize getting this fixed. Emergency services like the police or EMS need to be able to see your address clearly, in case of a burglary or health emergency.

A photo of many friends sitting on the ground outside around a short table. There’s a guitar and the table is decorated with drinks, food, and other festive items.

Know Your Community

Finally, get to know your neighbors. This may sound like it has nothing to do with the safety of your home, but it’s important in case anything should happen. Neighbors can keep an eye out for each other and inform you if there’s ever  unusual activity nearby. If you ever go out of town, you’ll want a trusted neighbor to have a spare key. This way, they’ll be able to do things like collect your mail and take out the trash to help your home look occupied.

This home security checklist will only take about 30 minutes of your time, but can make a lifetime of difference. Just like a home walkthrough, a security checklist can save you from financial burden. By checking off each of these steps, you can be sure that your house is protected from things like invasion and fire. Your safety is our number one priority – if you find yourself needing security systems installed or fixed, or locks rekeyed, don’t hesitate to call your local Pop-A-Lock! We’d be delighted to help.


How Your Phone Can Keep You Safe Inside and Outside of Your Home

Personal safety is one of the most important things you should prioritize focusing on. Fortunately, our phones play a huge role in ensuring we stay protected at all times. Our smartphones make controlling safety in our lives easy and accessible – most security systems today can update you on threats through your smart device. There are also apps that you can download to guarantee your safety away from the protection of your home.

A photo of a woman holding a cellphone in her hands.

Here’s All the Details on Home Security Systems 

Your home’s safety can be jeopardized by burglary, natural disaster, house fires, and more. Luckily, you can stay up to date on situations that happen while away with the help of a security system. These systems communicate with your phone to alert you of danger and sometimes even contact the proper authorities before you realize an incident occurred.

Security systems work by using a variety of sensors placed around your home that monitor different types of threats. Some can be placed around windows in your home to monitor for broken glass, others send you an alert toxins are detected. A popular choice homeowners have opted for lately is surveillance cameras – these can be best used at your front door, inside your home, or all along the perimeter.

A photo of a security camera on the exterior wall of a house overlooking the side of the house and the yard area.

How Can Your Phone Keep Your Home Secure?

The technology that security systems use is very advanced and gives you the satisfaction of immediate protection when needed. Often, you can open the system’s app on your phone and control certain features from your smart device. This means that the next time you forget to lock your door or close the garage, just one tap on your phone will take care of it! 

Streamlining your home’s protection is never considered an unwise decision. Studies have shown that having an alarm system deterred 60% of burglars once they saw it. If that isn’t enough proof that security systems are crucial, another study showed that homes without a security system were burglarized 300% more often than those with one. Those statistics should make you realize that investing in effective and accessible security for your home is essential.

Your Phone Can Also Save Your Life

It’s a wild thought – the same device that calls your mom or gives you directions to brunch can be what saves your life. In the middle of a life-threatening situation or moments after a natural disaster strikes, your smartphone may be your only chance at survival. Androids and iPhones have a handy feature that sends your location to a 911 operator if you can dial the number on your device. This feature is helpful for those in situations where their life depends on being quiet or not speaking. 

Maybe the threat you find yourself in is from a natural disaster. In this case, your phone can provide help by giving you a set of helpful resources for whenever things may not be functioning properly. After intense disasters, many phone lines could be damaged, so relying on an SOS style app might be the only way you’ll be able to communicate with others. Downloading any of these apps would be wise if you live in a hotspot for natural disasters or know that one is approaching.

A photo of a phone screen on the dial page with “911” typed in, ready to dial.

Can Pop-A-Lock Help, Too?

At Pop-A-Lock, we are dedicated to putting your safety first – that’s why we offer services day and night, year-round. If your home’s safety was recently jeopardized, then you might want to consider giving us a call. Rekeying your home after purchasing, once a roommate moves out, or after a break-in will help ensure overall security. Our technicians are background checked and are highly trained to provide you with the best service possible. 

We also offer a free security audit that you can do today! Running through this checklist will help you identify weak areas in your home and ultimately address how to improve them. Our team is always available to help you double-check any areas of concern you may have and can even guide you through solutions we offer, like a new security system!