Simple, cost-effective & expert ways to protect your home

Posted at 7:10 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 19:10:56-04

Home security is top of mind. The five-year average number of home break-ins in St. Petersburg shows August tied for first place with the highest number of home burglaries.

There are simple, cost-effective ways to protect your home.

St. Petersburg police officer Chip Wells said criminals target your back door.

“Most of our normal strike plates look like this and they’ve got little tiny screws like this in it, simply changing out both screws with something like this that’s a lot longer so that it reaches the stud will keep them from kicking it in," Wells said.

For about $4 at Lowe's, you can get an upgraded door plate.

"You see how it's offset and it’s got the big heavy screws on it, you’re not going to get it, you’re going to have to have a battering ram to get that door open," Wells said.

He suggested adding second locks to your windows.

"Add a pin to it, they’re very simple you just drill a hole in the corners ok pin slips in it just goes from here into the frame there and that will keep somebody from lifting it up," Wells said.

You can also use long screws in the door frame or a broom handle. Cameras around your home can use motion sensors to help you keep an eye on it.

"With the cameras outside and the doorbells we get to see it before it occurs we can pre-empt any criminal activity to our house," Wells said.

Wells said home break-ins could be up in August thanks to teens.

"Now they’ve got that time in between parents getting home and them getting out of school which is when a lot of the crimes occur," Wells said.

The other month that tied for first place in average home break-ins over the last five years was January.

Officer Wells said law enforcement will come to your home, assess your security concerns and tell you what you to need fix, free of charge.