Safety First: The Best Built House

Built-in Safety

These are just a few security features that can keep your home safer and more secure.


Keep trees and shrubs well-maintained so they don’t block views of entrances or windows, or offer an ideal place for thieves to hide. Your home and grounds should be easily visible from the street. Make sure your fence isn’t too high, so neighbours can view your yard and police patrols can view anything unusual on your property. You can also install a warning buzzer on the fence to alert you when someone enters the property.


Lights are an effective deterrent. Keep your grounds and home well lit — without drawing attention. Keep lights out of reach and protected, so they can’t be broken or tampered with. Mounted flood lights aimed along the wall can light a large area. Aim lights downward so they don’t cast shadows and keep bushes or trees well pruned so they don’t block light. Inside your home, put exterior light switches near a window so that you can see into the yard as you turn on the light. Install motion sensor lights so that you’re alerted when someone is near your property.


A solid doorframe should be constructed of wood or metal fitting easily into the frame with not more than three millimetres of clearance on the sides and top and not more than six millimetres of clearance on the bottom. Exterior doors should swing inward so that hinge pins cannot be removed from the outside. If the hinge pin is exposed, you can use non-removable hinges or modify existing ones. At least two screws per hinge should penetrate thirty millimetres into the wooden jamb and at least twenty-five millimetres into the door.


A good lock is the key to home security — and peace of mind. Springlatch locks are not recommended as they are easily broken. Single cylinder deadbolt locks are operated with a key from the outside and a switch from the inside and are recommended.


All windows should have effective working locks and a solid frame. Windows within two metres of the ground should be well secured, with grills or bars as an option. If you have a grill on a bedroom window, make sure it can be easily opened from the inside so it doesn’t hamper escape in case of fire. Don’t forget about skylights. Make sure they have a locking device. Keep curtains or blinds closed at street level so people can’t see inside. Patio doors should have a safety bar to deter intruders. You can also drill a blind hole into the top and bottom of the frame, so you can insert a nail or peg. Place the nail or peg and a piece of wood in place every time you leave your home, or at night.