Cellar Beware: Home Security from the Basement Up

February 23, 2011 in Home Security System,Security improvements

When you set out to buy a new home, if you’re like many Americans, you’ll make sure it has a basement. Unlike other countries, where cellars and basements are still mostly used for storage, Americans love to make good use of all the space available to them and turn their basements into game rooms, home offices, or even bedrooms for their eldest children. So when you’re installing a home security system in your new residence, it’s essential that you carefully evaluate the security weaknesses of your basement. Even if you don’t mind the basement windows being obscured by shrubs, you’ll likely think differently when a burglar uses those shrubs as a cover for a broken window to gain entrance and bypass the rest of your home security system. Or if you think the crack in the masonry isn’t a big deal and you’ll fix it when you have the time, think again – burglars can use cracks and tears in walls, especially around windows, to force open the window or even to break through the wall into your basement.

When it comes to your home security system for your basement, there are two main points to consider: how easily does access to your basement allow access to the rest of your home, and how valuable are the items in your basement? Many homeowners, even if they use their basements as game rooms or home offices, have a lock on the door between the basement and the rest of the home. And though this is a good precaution, it’s also essential to realize that once a burglar has entered your basement, he’s already passed the exterior defenses of your home security system. However, if your basement contains valuable equipment such as computers, audio-visual equipment, or other expensive items, the basement might just be the burglar’s sole target. And if your basement is in use as a teenager’s bedroom, then securing that area of your home may be priceless. No matter what you use your basement for, it’s imperative to evaluate its impact on your home security system and take adequate measures to secure it. For most basements with ground-level windows, this will include at the very minimum glass-shatter sensors, and probably even bars in front of the windows. If you have a door leading from outside to the basement, make sure it’s secured just as thoroughly as every other exterior door. Make sure to install cameras in your basement and integrate them with the rest of your home security system, and connect them to a monitoring center where any suspicious actions will be noticed and appropriate action will be taken.

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