Simple tips to make your house safer during home invasion

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Violent home invasions make Houston headlines nearly every day.

Experts say home invasions are on the rise, and they are happening all over the Houston area. The one thing they typically all have in common is that the intruders almost always break in through the front, back, or side door of a home.

The owner of Bayou City Safe and Lock says her business has seen a rise in calls from people wanting to make their doors more secure.

"Usually we get calls after the home has been burglarized," said owner Colleen Mattson.

She says the first step is to have a door with the right strike plate. For about $20, homeowners can purchase a longer, thicker
strike plate for added security.

"I'm not a body builder but I can absolutely break in a door with a regular strike on it. It takes about two seconds," Mattson said. "This actually goes into your 2X4 framing of the door so you cannot kick it in."

For added protection, security consultant Miguel Yanez recommends a door brace called the Nightlock. It promises to withstand tremendous force and stop suspects from kicking in the door.

"You're stopping the momentum of them pushing it forward," Yanez said.

The $40 device can be installed in about an hour and can make a dramatic difference in the safety of a home.

"You're 2,000 percent more secure," Yanez said of a home with the Nightlock.

If you want to protect your windows, Yanez suggests $4 slide stops that slide into the railing.

"What you've done is increased the amount of force required to pop these open," Yanez said.

Other easy, inexpensive ways to protect your home:

  • Install motion detecting flood lights outside, especially in low-lit areas of your property.

  • Consider inexpensive home surveillance cameras. These can be purchased at home improvement or wholesale stores like Costco. Even if they aren't recording they might scare off thieves. Stickers or alarm company signs can have the same effect.

  • Install anti-break or anti-shatter window film on ground-level windows that might be targeted as easy entrance.

  • Place a wooden dowel in the track of your sliding glass door to prevent it from being opened without breaking.

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