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New home, old security concerns

All too often people get shortchanged on home security when purchasing a new home. So what should you as a new home buyer be looking for before making life’s largest purchase?

You can start by checking to see if your new home has an alarm system. If it does, make sure you walk around the home and see how many motion detectors it has and where they’re positioned.

Often new home builders cut costs by cutting coverage. This is a mistake that could result in extra losses to the new home buyer.

Check to see if motion detectors have been installed in the garage. Also make sure all garage windows have alarm contacts.

Look for an extra keypad in the garage. This will allow you to arm and disarm your garage without having to set your inside alarm system.

Make sure all exterior doors have alarm contacts on them. This includes the door entry from the attached garage to the home. Builders often skip this door because they feel it’s of no importance.

Walk up stairs and make sure contacts are installed on all exterior doors and windows. Often these areas are skipped because of the cost involved. But the truth is, it doesn’t cost much to include these windows in the initial installation.

As a matter of fact, many burglars prefer to break into the second-floor windows because they often find them unarmed.

Sadly some builders try to cut costs and either skip the alarm system or install a prewired system, which means you get the wiring but no hardware.

Security control panels, keypads, motion detectors, sirens, glass break sensors and power supplies are a few examples of items you won’t receive with a prewire.

A prewire is done before the drywall is applied, making it an inexpensive installation for builders but a somewhat appealing feature for the new homeowners because it keeps after-market installation costs down.

If you purchase a home without an alarm system prewire, more than likely the alarm installer will use wireless hardware to avoid expensive wire fishing costs.

Check the lock hardware. Unfortunately many new homes are built with inexpensive deadbolts and door knobs.

So how can you tell if the door hardware is inferior? Here’s a tip: If you turn the doorknob (located below the deadbolt) and it feels cheap, chances are the deadbolt is a lower quality product as well.

Check the home for exterior lighting. Many new homes have poor lighting on the exterior of the home. If you’re getting serious about the purchase of a new home, make sure you have your realtor walk you through it after dark. This way you can check the exterior lighting and make sure there aren’t any dark areas to give hiding spots for the bad guys.

Often new homeowners move into their new abode only to find certain window or patio door locks aren’t latching properly, so don’t forget to check all locks to make sure they are functioning correctly.

New homeowners will change or reinforce the deadbolt side of the door, but forget about the next weakest link — the hinge side.

Make sure the hinges have at least two three-inch screws that go directly into the door frame to give support to the door in the event of an attempted kick-in.

Don’t forget to check out the top and bottom of your home. Some burglars are experts at finding unusual ways to enter a home.

If the home has a crawl space, make sure you go under the house and look for obvious openings that might aid in a break-in.  The same for the attic. Make sure you climb into the attic and check for easy access openings that might have been overlooked by your builder.

Are you ready to update your home’s security? Take a look at eieihome’s directory of Home Security Professionals.

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