Police & Fire Schools

North Bennet Street School’s Locksmith Training Program Offers Home Security Tips

by North Bennet Street School

It’s that time of year when the number of house break-ins tend to rise with the temperatures.  The period from late July through August is a peak vacation time, which means many homes and apartments will be unoccupied and potentially vulnerable over the next few weeks.

But there are ways to keep your home safer while on vacation, say home security experts.  David Troiano, a registered master locksmith and head instructor at North Bennet Street School’s popular locksmith training program (www.nbss.edu/education/programs/locksmithing), suggests a two-step approach to increasing the security of a property before you leave.

The first step, says Troiano, is to pay special attention to your home’s most likely points of forced entry.  The second step is to retain the lived-in look of your residence while you’re away.

Here are some simple precautions Troiano suggests, most of which can be handled by the home owner or apartment dweller.

Windows – keep windows locked and the shades closed.  Wooden sash windows can be reinforced with low-cost window pins, a simple bolt system that is installed from the inside where the two sashes meet and are difficult to remove from the outside.

Sliding doors – this is a popular point of forced entry, because their locks are typically of lower quality, and the doors can be lifted off the tracks.   A security device called a “Charlie bar” can be installed on the door frame to keep the sliding doors in place.

Main entry doors – existing locks can be protected with an interlocking door guard, a set of metal strips installed on the door and frame that make it harder to jimmy the door open with a pry bar.  For added protection, replace existing lock cylinders with high-security cylinders that are resistant to picking and drilling.

Basement windows – another popular entry point, as they are low to the ground and often hidden by shrubs.  Troiano suggests keeping shrubs trimmed to keep these windows visible.  He also suggests installing a dead bolt lock on the interior door leading up from the basement to slow the forward progress of any intruders who do get in.

Use light and sound to your advantage – put several house lights on timers, and set them at different intervals.  Outside motion detector lights can be a real deterrent to potential intruders at night.

In apartment or condo buildings, a radio playing softly near the front door can convince a potential intruder to move on.  Some motion detection systems come with a recorded dog-barking sound – an especially effective deterrent to break-ins.

Install an electronic security system – these systems range from basic to advanced, and are monitored by professional security firms like ADP, Wells Fargo, and many local and reputable alarm companies.

Keep the property’s “lived in” look – don’t let mail and newspapers pile up.  Keep the lawn mowed and the shrubs trimmed.  Leave the car parked in the driveway (rather than in the garage).  Leave your key, your itinerary and your contact information with a trust-worthy neighbor.

About North Bennet Street School

One of the country’s oldest schools for craftsmanship training, the North Bennet Street School (www.nbss.org) is known internationally for its rigorous teaching methods, and for its role in promoting the preservation of traditional crafts skills.

Graduates of the school’s locksmithing program go on to pursue a variety of careers, from becoming self-employed locksmiths to working as lock shop supervisors at major corporations, colleges and medical institutions.  The program has an annual average job placement rate of over 90 percent.

In addition to locksmithing, the nationally accredited, post-secondary career school provides full-time and part-time programs in violin making, bookbinding, carpentry, piano technology, cabinet and furniture making, and jewelry making.