8 Expert Tips For A Safe And Protected Living In Los Angeles
Home security improvements come in all shapes and sizes, but what are some tips that you can use when you are moving into your new Los Angeles home? Besides what types of security upgrades you can do, there is a little that you should know about your own security first.
But what does evaluating your own security really entail? And how do you know that buying a security product will really protect you and your home? Keep reading, and find out the security tips that all Los Angeles residents should know.
1. Perform A Home Security Assessment
With a new home, hopefully, you have already looked into the crime in the neighborhood, and have some idea of the security that needs to be improved. But even with this generalized information, you need to make more concrete observations and decisions.
Writing this information down as part of a security assessment will help with the type of planning and thinking required to get the best security for your new Los Angeles home.
Take stock of the full perimeter of your home. Are any doors sticking? Are all the window locks functional? Do you have working keys for every lock? Are there any holes in fences or gates? These types of questions will outline your vulnerabilities. They are meant to determine the weaknesses in your home’s current level of security.
Next, you want to discover your risks. What is the security like in your neighborhood? How many crimes happen in your neighborhood? What is the nature of the crimes? How much can you trust the people who have access to the home? Do you have any enemies?
Property crime in Los Angeles is not as bad as most people are led to believe, but certain neighborhoods will have their particular eccentricities when it comes to crime.
The higher your risk, the more you have to worry about your vulnerabilities. The more vulnerable you are, the more you should worry about being targeted. This tip is to get you to think about your security so you can navigate the other tips to best determine what you need.
2. Equip Your Home With A Security Door
A security door is a metal screen door that fits over an existing wood door. It will have small perforations to obscure the resident on the other side while allowing residents to plainly view everything outside. At the same time, a quality screen door will resist kicking and battering ram attacks.
In Los Angeles, you want to be able to take advantage of the beautiful weather, and this home security precaution is perfect for that. While you are at home, you can leave your front door open while still providing your Los Angeles home with plenty of privacy as well as security.
The door can be locked with both deadbolts and keyed door knobs. This allows homeowners to increase the number of locks on their doors, but at the same time, you are also protecting your door. Before your wood door can be attacked, there is another door to get through.
This is also perfect for Los Angeles residents who are plagued by the constant procession of door to door solicitors and proselytizers. You can open your door without exposing yourself, or endanger visitors to aggressive animals (especially important for guard dogs).
3. Replace Your Old Locks
The types of locks you use in your home are a foundational element of security. Most homes in Los Angeles will be using generic Kwikset or Schlage deadbolts on their front doors, so you will likely want new locks altogether instead of trying to make upgrades to improve these locks.
Living in Los Angeles during this modern era, you have access to every type of lock you could imagine. With so many options, it is more important to know what elements of a lock contribute to giving your home a higher level of security.
The ideal high-security lock for Los Angeles should prevent the success of lock drilling, cutting, kicking, picking, lock bumping, unauthorized key duplication, and bypassing. These are all common methods of forced entry, and due to the wide variety of criminals in Los Angeles, it is best to invest in a lock built for all-purpose protection.
A good marker of quality for a lock is its weight. A heavy lock is an indication that it uses lots of metal, and the metal used is not weak. Many inexpensive locks use brass (a mixture of copper and zinc), which is light and malleable. Furthermore, many modern locks that you find on renovated homes in Los Angeles, use plastic for many internal components. Thick steel is preferable to fragile and malleable materials.
For greater insights on strong locks, contact a local locksmith in Los Angeles. They can explain more about patented keys that reduce the likelihood of unauthorized key duplication. You can also receive information on the different lock picking and lock bumping resistances.
4. Invest In Shatter-Resistant Window Film
Many people are discouraged when propositioned with the idea of investing in security because no matter how strong your locks or doors are, someone can still break in through a window. If this is your concern, the perfect solution is window film to prevent the glass from being broken out.
This type of film comes in clear adhesive sheets that can be cut to fit any existing window. The amount of protection will depend on the quality of the film that you have purchased. This ranges from scratch resistant film, to film powerful enough to prevent glass from shattering even after it has been pierced by a bullet.
You do not need to bar your windows. Shatter-resistant window film provides protection without changing the look of your home or telegraphing to criminals that you have something worth protecting. It is a low profile option that still allows you to offer your windows a decent level of protection.
5. Purchase A Monitored Alarm
Los Angeles is filled with very busy people who practically all live on top of each other. The result of this is a culture of individuals who keep to themselves and do their best to ignore what is happening to the people around them.
This impersonal approach to living creates a type of willful privacy, which results in alarms doing very little to get anyone’s attention. That is why you need a monitored alarm.
Monitored alarms guarantee that someone will respond when the home alarm cries out for attention. Even if your neighbor turns their music up to drown out the sound, the burglar will be disturbed by the commotion and the alarm company can send someone to your home to intervene.
An alarm is not the place to start with your security. An alarm only works when the rest of your security is preventing entry while the alarm is going off. If your alarm only goes off when someone has gotten in, no one is going to be able to stop the burglary before the thief can escape.
6. Properly Use Surveillance Cameras
Having a way of monitoring your home allows you to document any incidents of burglary or attempted entry into your Los Angeles home. This is perfect for putting together a more actualized security assessment. It will also deter some criminals from attempting a break-in entirely.
Just know that surveillance cameras are an incomplete security measure. The information they record must be acted on for you to get any real security. This is true both during and after criminal events.
During a break-in, seeing what is happening doesn’t do you much good, unless you are close enough to respond yourself. After a break-in, if you don’t use the footage to change something about your security, you have wasted the documentation.
Surveillance cameras are very similar to alarms in many ways, but your biggest concern has to be that a camera is not enough to guard your home. Many homes in Los Angeles have cameras inside and outside their homes, and this is not enough to even stop the cameras themselves from being stolen.
7. Train Guard Dogs
Owning a dog will not be an option for many renters and apartment dwellers, but for homeowners and others who are allowed the privilege of keeping a canine companion, this is a spectacular method of security.
Los Angeles is a very dog-friendly city with many parks, restaurants, and stores that allow and even cater to dogs. If you are worried about a dog interfering with your lifestyle, rest assured that Los Angeles can be very accommodating towards pet owners.
A guard dog is one part alarm, one part security guard. There is nothing you need to remember to activate and shut off, and the cost of maintenance and installation amounts to feeding, shots, and training. At the end of the day, you will have a companion and a means of improving the security of your Los Angeles home.
The most important thing about owning a guard dog is the training. The security for your new Los Angeles home is made or broken by the quality of your training. For example, if your dog cannot be trained to stop barking or barks at everything, you will suffer alarm fatigue. If your dog is too friendly it will not alert you to threats or deter criminals who enter the home.
It should be known that a dog’s very existence deters criminals. A dog is unknown to a thief. If they do not know the dog, they are taking a risk betting that the animal is not trained to attack. On the other hand, if someone you know is breaking in, a dog is unlikely to be as effective as an alarm.
8. Improve Your Existing Front Door
The price of living in Los Angeles is exponentially high, so you might not have all that much money to spend on protecting the very little that you have. You might not even own the room that you have, so you are restricted in the options you have to increase your security. In either case, you are best served with a simple and noninvasive way to improve the security of your front door.
This is extremely useful because most criminals attack a home via the front door. And the method they use is a quick and simple mule kick (done by turning your back to the door, standing on one leg, and kicking backward with the suspended foot). In order to prevent this from working, you need at least ten 3-inch screws.
These 3-inch screws will replace the set-screws for your strike plate and door hinges. The breakdown of the screw usage is:
- Four screws per door hinge (at least)
- Two door hinges (at least)
- Two screws per strike plate (average)
- One strike plate (at least)
The most important strike plate to secure is the one that pairs with your deadbolt. The door hinges need every screw they have to be replaced. What this is doing is securing these parts of the door assembly to the door frame. They are biting into the stud and not just the door trim so that connection is much stronger.
It might not sound like a big change that is going to dramatically improve your security, but it actually will. Just doing this increases the amount of force your door can withstand exceptionally.
In Los Angeles, you have to do at least this much to protect yourself and your belongings. Landlords should have no problems with this because there is no visible change to the property, and the cost is close to nothing.
Performing a risk assessment will let you know where to begin with your new home security. These eight tips are not the only things that you can use to improve the security of your new Los Angeles home, this list is to get you started thinking about home defense. There are almost endless options to increase your home security. Start with these things, and then when you have decent security, you can build out your protection