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Feel Protected: Basement Safety and Security

Home invaders often enter a residence through the basement as it’s frequently the weak point in security. Don’t panic! There are simple steps you can take that will deter even the most tenacious thieves.

Windows:

  • Bars are an effective way to secure your basement windows providing a strong physical deterrent for a relatively low cost.  Choose a durable model made of iron or steel. Remember that bars on the egress window should be installed on the inside and able to swing open in case of emergency. 
  • Grates work well if you have window wells. They should be sturdy, rust resistant, allow ventilation, permit light to enter, and enable snow and ice to fall through to be carried away via the well’s drainage system. Ensure that they fit snugly with no extra space for a prying tool to gain leverage. The grate covering the egress window should include a convenient opening mechanism that allows you to lift it easily from the inside.
  • Locks: Check to make sure the locks that come with your windows are sufficient. If not, replace them. Pin locks are great for sliding glass windows as they are inexpensive and easy to install yet present enough of an obstacle that a burglar may move on. Choose one that has a chain to prevent loss of the pin and make sure the pin is long enough that it can’t be wiggled out when inserted. Padlocks are cost effective. Make sure you store the key nearby where it can be easily located yet out of reach should someone manage to break a window pane. Ensure that your egress window opens from the inside and without the use of a key.
  • Glass: Security film (also called window laminate) is a low cost method of protecting your windows from being shattered by intruders. Window security screens, similar to insect screens, are made of steel and stand up well against force reducing the possibility of window breakage. Install glass block. It’s thicker than traditional windows, difficult to break, lets in light and offers privacy. Consider the use of tempered or wired glass which is stronger than ordinary windows. Polycarbonate sheets are another option and almost impossible to break.

Block the view: Use drapes, shades and/or blinds to keep your valuables out of sight. A home invader who isn’t certain that you have valuables may decide to pass.

Clear the view: Keep a clear line of sight to your basement windows to deter potential thieves with the possibility of being noticed by neighbors or a passerby.  

Install lights: Motion sensor lights alert you to suspicious activity and make your basement window less appealing to a burglar.

Move furniture: Remove chairs or tables near your windows to make it more difficult for an intruder to climb into your basement. 

Improve your security system: Install window sensors on your basement windows. Motion sensor cameras can capture a visual of a culprit. Indoor motion sensors will alert you if someone makes it past the basement window. Glass break detectors sound an alarm when glass is broken. A good security system deters burglars, alerts you and your neighbors and contacts authorities in case of break-in.

Advertise your security: Place a sign or decals on/near your basement windows to warn invaders that you have a well secured home. 

Get a dog: A barking dog is a great deterrent to would be burglars!  Enjoy your pet and post beware of dog signs near your home.

The basement door: If your home has a door that accesses the basement, make sure it is a solid-core model. Steel security gates also work well. Install a quality deadbolt with a reinforced strike plate. A security bar is a simple and inexpensive method of keeping burglars from entering your basement door.

Your basement doesn’t have to be the weak point in your home’s security. With a few simple additions and/or changes you can ensure the safety of your home and family.For all your basement renovation needs, call the Calgary basement experts, Econo Basements at (403) 768-0256 or email at info@econobasements.ca. Take advantage of their knowledge, skill and experience.

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