Home Security Metal Products

Quality security services in the greater Ottawa Carleton region since 1983

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Security Checklist

In an attempt to summarize the majority of information on this site into something that the reader can quickly use to assess his security problems, this page will itemize in order the steps that should be taken to PROPERLY secure your home against break and enter:


1- Remember to lock all doors when you leave (yes....I know.....it sounds too simple, but a lot of breakin's occur through unlocked doors)

2- Don't advertise your home is empty....ie: newspapers piled up, snow not plowed, grass not cut etc. 

(See the page on basic security precautions for more detail in this area).


These remain the most important security precautions you can take

1- Closely examine both the integrity of your doors and locks. All doors should be reasonably heavy duty, with a minimum of single pane glass panels. Each door should have a quality deadbolt lock installed, with a 10 inch steel strike in the frame secured with six three inch screws to prevent the common entry method of simply kicking in the door. Ideally, deadbolt locks should be further reinforced with the installation of "surround kits" which wrap around the lock and door, and reinforce that portion of the door between the edge and the lock face itself. Also make sure that at least one of the screws holding each hinge is replaced with a 3" screw, predrilled and then driven in through the door frame into the inner stud of the house surrounding the door, for strength against kick in on the hinge side.

2- All sliding glass patio door should be reinforced by installing two screws above the sliding door to prevent a thief from lifting the door out of the track, coupled with a visible, waist high mounted swing down patio door bar to prevent the door being forced open.

3- All ground floor windows that open by sliding the pane sideways should be secured with a stick or bar of some sort that keeps the window from being forced open. Don't count on the small screws on the lock to hold much of anything against forced entry. Modern double pane thermal windows that crank open and are locked with two side bars are VERY secure windows in their own right - with these you have little to worry about unless you forget to lock them when you exit the premises.

4- Ideally, all basement windows should be protected by quality window security bars, installed on the inside, with all locks on the same key. At the very least, block the sliding windows with sticks of wood against forced entry.

5- New homes should have all locks re-keyed when you first move in. This, as a minimum, prevents unauthorized entry by construction staff in a hurry to finish up last minute fix up changes to your home.

6- New homes often have front doors built with a long floor to ceiling glass pane alongside the door on the lock side. While attractive in design, this seriously weakens the integrity of the wood frame where the deadbolt resides. All doors of this nature MUST have a 10 inch strike installed on the inside frame, mounted with six three inch screws installed perpendicular in direction to the plane of the door and lock. THIS CAN BE THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU EVER DO TO PREVENT THIEVES FROM ENTERING YOUR HOME.

Remember, most thieves are very unsophisticated, and the simplest of strong, physical precautions may be all you really need !! A large majority of breakin's are done after thieves ring the doorbell to determine if there is anyone at home, and then simply kicking in the weak front door strike !


If you decide to opt for the installation of an electronic alarm system, there are some things you must understand before you begin your shopping. Also remember, alarm systems serve mainly to discourage thieves from breaking in to start with, and also to severely limit the amount of time they have to work inside the house before the arrival of the authorities. Plus should a real breakin happen, the home can be secured properly afterwards.

1- Decide right up front how you are going to pay for the system before you even shop for a dealer. If you pay for the system up front, expect and demand a bundled rate for ULC quality local monitoring, warranty and free service for a rate not to exceed $20 monthly. If you shop carefully, you will find dealers who will give you this on a month to month contract, which is highly preferable. However, if you wish to finance your system through inflated monthly costs, or even opt for one of the "zero down" (or phoney "free systems"as they ae often advertised) , expect to pay $30 to $36 monthly on a three to five year, non-cancellable contract. And don't expect your rates to automatically decrease at the end of the financing term either !!

2- Get three price quotes, and compare your TOTAL costs over five years regardless of the length of the contract. For further information see "how to shop"

3- Assuming you are fully paying for the system upfront, try to negotiate a month to month contract only (see "contracts")

4- Calculate your total costs for five years for each quote, calculating the costs of.....
Upfront installation costs for equipment
Monthly monitoring costs for 60 months regardless of the length of contract
Warranty costs ( make sure this includes replacement batteries, and "Acts of God")
Service costs (assume for comparison purposes, two service calls over the five year comparison period)....service and warranty costs can be quite expensive and are often hidden from view at the point of purchase.

5- Discuss the costs of armouring the telephone line to prevent phone line cut although in our area of Ottawa, this is a non issue (at least to date).

6- Ensure the design of the system is such that all vulnerable areas are covered by switches or motion detectors. Make absolutely sure that basement windows are included on the system.

7- Get sufficient warning decals and place them on the roll down garage door (most important),  all visible doors, and basement windows as a minimum.

Assuming that you have done all of the above, your likelihood of being robbed is reduced considerably. However, it remains a "must do" to ensure that your insurance coverage is adequate as well.

08 December, 2012 05:43 PM