Considering that we are in one of the coldest winters on record, winter home maintenance should be at the forefront of most homeowners minds. While most homeowners know the common ways of protecting their homes against the elements, winter also poses another relatively unknown threat: break-ins.
According to studies, in particular “The Influence of the Seasons on Crime”, there’s a direct correlation between dropping temperatures and criminals that seek out homes for items to steal, families to hold up, and even vacant properties to find shelter in. Therefore, homeowners that want to keep their families safe and their assets protected need to perform winter home maintenance, making sure their home doesn’t have any weak spots or vulnerabilities that may entice opportunists.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a number of common and effective ways to ensure that your house is up to par in the winter – not only to keep bad weather out, but ensure that criminals are unable to enter your home. Let’s begin.
By installing and upgrading your outdoor lights, you make it less likely that a criminal will choose your home. You’ll want to ensure that ice and snow do not build up over light fixtures, which restricts their ability to illuminate your property and may potentially cause a fire. Because winters are darker, nights are longer, and many of your neighbors will be indoors, criminals have an advantage in stealth to enter a home that isn’t well-lit. So, the best thing a homeowner can do is observe their home at night and try to find any areas that are too dark—then make plans to install lights in those spots. For budget-conscious homeowners, using motion-sensor-based lights can help save on your electricity bill and startle criminals that get too close to your home.
And if you’re like many families that take vacations in the winter, you may want to use an IoT-based lighting system (as part of a “smart home” setup) that allows you to adjust your lighting throughout the day to give the appearance of an occupied home. Often, set up is relatively cheap, can be customized at will, and usually comes coupled with cameras that can help you monitor the property when an unexpected entry has been made.
One of the best ways to ensure that criminals can’t enter your home is to install door barricades throughout your home, such as the Nightlock® Original. By installing a door barricade on all major entranceways, you ensure that criminals will not be able to force open a door that could otherwise be defeated by a criminal with locksmithing skills or a heavy weapon to break door locks. Instead, a door barricade uses the strength of the door as part of the locking mechanism. Consider also installing door barricades throughout your home to create “safe rooms” where, if a criminal does obtain entry to your home, your family can lock themselves there until calling for help. Door barricades have proven effective in saving lives during workplace- and school-related shootings, so installing them in your home is a wise decision for winter home maintenance.
As an added benefit, door barricades can also help aid your family in the event of another type of home intruder: bears. Considering that bear-related home intrusions are on the rise, bear-proofing homes with door barricades can prevent significant danger and damage to your property from a wild animal.
Snow and Ice Removal
One way that criminals scope out homes to see whether they are unoccupied is whether regular winter maintenance like snow shoveling and ice removal has been done on a property. While most homeowners know that removing snow and ice is a no-brainer for the longevity of their home’s driveways, steps, and so forth, not removing it indicates that you or someone capable of removing snows is home. If you’re not available to shovel snow, you should hire a company or an individual to remove snow to give your home a lived-in appearance.