Neighborhood Watch Special Report: Security expert assesses

Neighborhood Watch Special Report: Security expert assesses

(WFIE) - Chad Bennett owns 5 Star Security Systems LLC. It’s his job 24/7 to keep his customers' homes safe. But we asked him to do a 360-degree evaluation of his house and right at the front door, we found our first issue.

"We've got a deadbolt here, but this lock here does not lock. It's always open. So a suggestion we would make is (to) replace this with a locking function entryway so that this point would be locked as well as this and it gives you a double system."

Smart doorbells are all the rage. They come with live video and audio to monitor activity on your porch.

"It's a very dumb doorbell and this would be one again that if I were coming to a home I would make a recommendation. A smart doorbell is a very inexpensive option to look at versus putting in a full camera system."

Bennett scores points for porch lighting. And his second story security checks out. No balconies or stairs a burglar could use.

"However, come around on the side of the house, there's a ladder sitting right there, so I'll say that I fail that because I know that a burglar could take that ladder and lean it up against the windows and try and gain access that way."

The most vulnerable part of any home is glass doors. And Bennett has them on his back patio.

"So we have to be concerned about somebody taking a piece of patio furniture and throwing it through that glass door and simply walking in."

That's why Bennett has and recommends a security system with glass break detectors. The double door itself can be a problem.

Bennett recommends a high-security locking system. But he doesn't have one.

"These are where this door becomes vulnerable because you open this double door and you forget about it. This door is locked, but all I gotta do is push this open and now I've gained access to the house."

Bennett doesn't have a privacy fence, but that's a good thing if you value security over privacy.

"When you have a privacy fence again that's the cover and concealment that a burglar is looking for."

Give Bennett credit for keeping his house locked up at all times -- even if he's just going to be out in the yard for a while.

"But having a keyless entry is an easy way to keep your house locked. You're outside working so a bad guy driving by seeing you doesn't target your home because they know you're outside working and they choose to come in your open overhead door."

Back around to the front of the house. The shrubs are trimmed nice and low. Burglars love vegetation that grows taller than the windows.

"A double hung window is an easy access point, but because the windows have double locks on them, that makes them harder to get open."

Nothing blows a burglar's cover better than light. Even if it's decorative.

"So not only path lighting, but there's lighting up against the side of the home that illuminates it."

Finally, electronic security.

"There are cameras that are taking shots of what's happening outside. Those cameras might not necessarily deter somebody from breaking into your home, but it's going to give you video evidence to help catch the person that's in there."

The takeaway message? Even if you own a home security business, it’s advisable to case your own house before a burglar does.

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