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Move-in / Move-out Security Check For Tenants, Landlords & Homeowners

moving security

When it comes relocating, the process of moving is hard enough. Whether leasing a new apartment or purchasing a new brownstone, there are hundreds of little details to be taken care along the way. But before you know it, life will get back to normal. And when it does, you want the transition to the everyday use of your new home’s keys, locks, doors, and windows to be smooth, safe and hassle-free. Use this five-point move-in security check, from the experienced experts at Paragon, to make your move a security success:

1. LOCK CHECK

  • LOCK CHANGE- This is a must-do for every landlord, tenant or homeowner. A properly locked door is your first line of defense against unwanted intruders, so it is essential to be proactive in replacing locks when moving to a new place. To mitigate the risk of unaccounted keys and to feel fully safe and secure in your new home, have all entry door locks changed by a qualified professional locksmith. This minor expense ensures proper installation and maximum protection to your family and your valuable belongings.
  • KEYS-  Often times, apartment managers rotate old door locks between apartments with no regard to unreturned or missing keys. Even if your landlord says the locks have been changed, that does not necessarily mean they were replaced with new locks or that you are the only key holder. Don’t risk somebody being able to return to your apartment with an old key. Verify that your door locks are new, for peace of mind that you are the only keeper of the keys to your home.
  • DEADBOLT- To reinforce the security of your new home, deadbolts should be used in conjunction with keyed entry locks on all exterior doors. Doorknob locks by themselves are not enough. Deadbolts add a layer of security by reinforcing your standard doorknob lock. It is always best to work with a certified locksmith expert to determine the grade and type of deadbolt that will best meet your needs.

To reinforce the security of your new home, deadbolts should be used in conjunction with keyed entry locks on all exterior doors. Doorknob locks by themselves are not enough. Deadbolts add a layer of security by reinforcing your standard doorknob lock. It is always best to work with a certified locksmith expert to determine the grade and type of deadbolt that will best meet your needs.

2. DOOR CHECK

The easiest way for an intruder to enter your house is through the door. All of your efforts to protect your home, including an electronic home security system, are useless if your entry door is not strong and secure. Having a good door system in place is key to providing adequate protection. When doors fail, it is usually in these three areas:

  • DOOR TYPE- Check your door and door frame. A lot of homes in New York City have really old wood doors. They can be attractive, add a nice atmosphere to a home and look sturdy. However, they can also be experiencing wood rot, have lock problems and be an easy target for criminals. Entry doors should be solid core wood (at least 1 3/4″ thick) or metal wrapped. Your door should fit it’s frame tightly, with no more than 1/8″ clearance between the door and the frame. Check all wooden parts of the door and door frame, including the threshold, door jamb, and trim. Make sure there are no soft, spongy areas. With a wide range of residential doors from solid wood doors to steel security doors or metal calamine fire proof doors available nowadays, there is a door to meet every safety and security need for your new home.
  • STRIKE PLATE- The strike plate is a metal plate affixed to the door jamb with a hole or holes for the bolt of the door. When the door is closed, the bolt extends into the hole in the strike plate and holds the door closed. A weak, failing or poorly installed strike plate can leave you at risk.  To check your strike plate, open the door and examine the strike plate for signs of disrepair. Look to see if the strike plate is securely fastened to the door jamb with four screws. If it is only secured with two screws, you want to upgrade to a four-screw strike plate. With this, you should use 3-inch screws to install, in order to bite all the way into the stud behind the door jamb.
  • HINGES- The door hinge is what attaches the door to the frame. It is jointed and pivots as the door opens and closes. Door hinges are only as strong as the screws used to install them. To increase the security of your entry door, replace the standard 3/4″screw with 2″ to 3″ fully threaded screws. By using 2″ to 3″ fully threaded screws, you will  anchor the hinge into the sub-frame of your door, protecting you and your family from door kick-ins. Hinge pins that are exterior facing or exposed to the outside need immediate attention. If your entry door swings outward, check if your hinge pins are exposed. Intruders can remove the pins from the outside and gain entry by taking the door off the hinges. Ask a qualified security expert to examine your hinges and strike plates to ensure that you are fully secure.

3. WINDOW CHECK

  • WINDOW LOCKS Window locks keep intruders from gaining easy access to your residence, especially if your window is on the ground level. Treat all windows as potential entry points, and make sure all window locks are working properly. One of the best burglar deterrents when it comes to windows is a hefty window lock that is visible from the outside. Window pin locks are a simple, affordable yet highly effective burglar deterrent.
  • WINDOW ALARMS- From a simple window sensor alarm to full-service dynamic home protection, there are a variety of window alarms on the market today.  In the city, window sensors are an essential part of your new home security. A window sensor alarm installs onto the window and detects when a window is opened or broken. When triggered, it sounds a warning alarm that alerts those inside and intimates the burglar into fleeing.
  • CHILD SAFETY BARS- Children have an eager desire to explore their surroundings. This curiosity can lead to dangerous situations like leaning against a weak window screen or too far out a window to look outside. Child safety bars keep children safe from unexpected window falls and give parents peace of mind that a tragic window fall will not occur in their home.
  • FIRE ESCAPES- Exterior fire escapes can be lifesavers during an emergency. But they also provide burglars with easy access to upper-level windows and balconies. The best and safest way to secure your fire escape, lower level or top level windows is with FDNY approved window gates. Burglars usually look for the quickest and easiest access. Window gates, security bars, and child guard security devices are key to window security because even if the glass of the window is broken, the window gate still prevents criminals from gaining access. Your window gates should be installed with quick release mechanisms that open from inside your home for emergency exit to your fire escape, in case of fire.

4. ALARM CHECK

  • ALARM SYSTEM-  If you are lucky enough to have an alarm system in your new place, change the access codes and contact the alarm service to notify them of your occupancy. If not,  this could be the single most important investment to make in your new home. Studies show that homes without security systems are three times more likely to be broken into. And aside from 24hour a day monitoring, most insurance carriers offer discounts to home owners with alarm systems installed. While keeping burglars at bay is the foundation, security systems can be easily expanded—adding motion detectors, additional door or window contacts, temperature monitors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire protection.
  • FIRE/SMOKE ALARM- Upon move-in, locate and inspect all fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for dust and lint build up that can hinder sensors. Replace the batteries and test to ensure they are functioning. Use Daylights Savings as a reminder to retest all alarms.  If you are in the market to purchase new, do your homework. Innovations in home security have evolved in recent years to include fire alarms that detect heat rather than smoke and motion sensors that can distinguish between a human intruder and a pet.

5. SAFE CHECK

  • SAFE- A safe can be the last line of defense to protect your most valuable and irreplaceable possessions. Items such as jewelry, cash, firearms, and sensitive documents can be locked away in a fireproof case. Safes come in all sizes and range in price from under $100 to thousands of dollars. Find a safe that fits your budget and needs, and talk to your landlord about bolting it to a floor or wall, so a burglar can’t pick it up and take it. While a safe can’t guarantee the absolute protection of your property, it can be effective at hiding items from thieves who are just looking to grab valuables in plain sight and escape quickly.

As a densely populated metropolitan environment, New York City features a variety of high-rise buildings, condos, brownstones, townhouses, and multi-resident homes. It’s important to seek a qualified, locally trusted security provider to assist in changing  the locks and establishing a solid foundation of home protection specific to the unique security challenges of  your building or community. Paragon Security has been proudly serving customers all across New York City including in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island for over 25 years. Don’t miss out on the experience of new locks and keys with the Paragon Security move-in special. Call today for more details 212.203.0821.

 

 

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Closing The Window Of Opportunity For NYC Burglars

window gates

As the weather warms up, residents and business owners open new windows of opportunity for burglars. Detective Jack Meeks, the spokesman for the New York City Crime Prevention Bureau, warns that the most common entry points for thieves in the city are windows or fire escapes. This risk increases in the spring and summer months.

The good news is that they are also preventable. Detective Meeks explains that intruders have two major enemies, time and noise. So the security of your home or business can be easily strengthened by increasing the time it would take and the noise it would make to gain entry. Thereby increasing the likelihood of being seen.

Take proper precautions in securing all accessible windows, including basement, first floor, top floor, and fire escape windows. The following safeguards will help close the window of opportunity for burglars and prevent the possibly of a break-in:

FIRE ESCAPES
Exterior fire escapes can be lifesavers during an emergency. But they also provide intruders with easy access to upper-level windows and balconies. FDNY approved window gates, security bars, and child guard security devices are essential to securing your fire escape, street level, lower level or top level windows. Even if the glass of the window is broken, the window gate prevents thieves from gaining access to the premises. Be sure your window gates are professionally installed and equipped with quick release mechanisms that open from the inside in case of fire or emergency exit.

WINDOW LOCKS
Treat all street level windows as potential entry points. Install heavy duty window locks, that are clearly visible from the outside. Window pin locks are a simple, affordable yet highly effective burglar deterrent. Check your window locks regularly to make sure they are working properly.

WINDOW ALARMS
From a simple window sensor alarm to full-service dynamic home protection, there are a variety of window alarms on the market today. Window sensor alarms install onto the window and detect when the window is opened or broken. When triggered, it sounds a warning alarm that alerts those inside and intimates the burglar into fleeing.

WINDOW GATES
An important consideration is whether to use window gates or window bars. Window gates should be installed on any window that could be accessed from the outside. Windows on the second story or higher generally do not need a gate because they are too difficult to enter. However, you should think about any architectural features of that may make it easy for a thief to climb to that window and open it. New York Protection Gates, Manhattan Protection Gates and folding gates also offer superior protection and functionality. Consult a professional window security solution provider to determine the right solution for your specific needs.

WINDOW BARS
Buildings without window bars are targets. Windows that are not covered by bars can be broken easily and used as entry points by burglars. Generally speaking, bars can work on windows that you will not need to climb out of. However, you may, in an emergency, be in a downstairs room and unable to exit through a door. For example, a fire may trap you on one side of the house, unable to get to any exits. If bars are on all of your windows, you could be in trouble. Having one or two windows in each street-level room that are gated instead of barred can provide a better level of safety.

CHILD SAFETY BARS
Children have an eager desire to explore their surroundings. This curiosity can lead to dangerous situations like leaning against a weak window screen or too far out a window to look outside. Child safety bars keep children safe from unexpected window falls and give parents peace of mind that a tragic window fall will not occur in their home.

PROPER INSTALLTION
Choosing the right window security feature is just the first step. It’s important to seek a qualified, locally trusted security provider to ensure proper installation to meet the unique security challenges of your building or community.

Security You Need. Service You Deserve.
Paragon Security offers a selection of eye-catching designs of window gates, security bars, and child guard security devices that are custom fitted and installed as part of your residence or business overall security plan. Paragon Security has been proudly serving customers all across New York City including in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island since 1988. Call today for more details 212.203.0821.

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Burglar Prompts Window Security Check

NYPD CRIME STOPPERS ALERT

Published originally on: NYPD Crime StoppersSecurity monitoring of a Brooklyn apartment recently caught this burglary suspect on surveillance video, leaving the building through the front door. The suspect gained entry to the apartment by climbing the fire escape outside the Brooklyn building on Lincoln Road. Choosing a window that was not gated, alarmed or locked, he was able to simply pushed open the fourth floor window.

Brooklyn Burglar
Upon entry to the apartment through the window, the suspect removed a Dell laptop and an Apple laptop and then fled out the front door of the apartment building. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM.

TIPS FOR BURGLAR PROOFING YOUR APARTMENT

Stories like this are all too common in New York. But the good news is that they are also preventable. It is up to us as residents and business owners, to safeguard our family and employees. It is essential to take every precaution in making  sure all accessible windows, including basement, first floor, top floor, and fire escape windows are secure.

WINDOW ALARMS

There are a variety of window alarms on the market today. From a simple window sensor alarm to full-service dynamic home/business protection. A window sensor alarm installs onto the window and detects when a window is opened or broken. By sounding a warning alarm, it alerts those inside and intimates the burglar into fleeing. For maximum security, you may consider an Integrated Wireless Security System with 24/7 alarm system monitoring and Motion Detectors. These systems are easy to operate for the user and can also double as burglar alarms and fire alarms. As the security system picks up signs of an intruder, an alarm is set off and police are dispatched the police to your home or office if needed.

Window Locks

Don’t underestimate the power of a good lock. Deadbolts and other types of window locks are excellent, but the best burglar deterrent is a hefty window lock that is visible from the outside. A window pin lock can a simple, affordable yet highly effective burglar deterrent.

Window Gates

Windows that are not protected can be broken easily used as a point of entry by burglars. The best and safest way to secure your fire escape, lower level or top level windows is with a FDNY approved window gates. Window gates can be highly effective at bolstering home security for multiple reasons. Burglars usually look for the quickest and easiest access. The installation of window gates act as a deterrent because the gates make the home appear to be more difficult to break into. Even if the glass is broken, the window gate still keeps them from gaining access.

With proper installation, window gates and/or security bars are firmly attached to the building structure with bolts and screws. And fitted with quick release mechanisms that open security gates from inside your house for emergency exits in case of fire. Architectural features of on the exterior of your building can often be used by thieves for climbing to higher levels without window gates. Fire escapes, in particular, represent a major risk. Not securing a window that is accessible via fire escape leaves everyone and everything inside vulnerable. And an easy target. As the fire escape represents an extremely accessible entry point for most burglars.

Choosing the right window security feature that meets all applicable standards, is just the first step. It is also worth considering the slight distinction between New York Protection Gates, Manhattan Protection Gates and folding gates. In many cases, your solution provider can help you make the right choice. Next you must you must be certain the features are installed correctly by a professional locksmith / security companyInstallation makes all the difference when it comes to finding the right solution for your needs. As part of extensive window security services, Paragon Locksmith NYC offers a selection of eye-catching designs of window gates, security bars, and child guard security devices that are custom fitted and installed as part of your residence or business overall security plan.

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Window Gates: The Aesthetic Advantage

Feature-window-gates-the-aestetic-advantage

If you’ve been looking around New York City lately you might be seeing fewer window gates around. Some homeowners seem to have begun to think that declining crime rates over the past decade or so means they can get by without gates. While this often is not the case, there can be temptation to avoid putting in window gates. This is especially true since so many solutions are a major eyesore. Let’s face it, if you’ve just purchased a new home in a relatively safe neighborhood you aren’t going to be too excited to install a bunch of bars over your windows and ruin the look of your home. But what if your window gates could actually accent your property? What if they weren’t an eyesore, but a complementary part of your home that also keeps you safe? Custom window gates can give you the protection you need without having to sacrifice the pleasure you get when you look at your home.

Considering custom window gates
Custom iron work from a locksmith or security company can help you protect your home without sacrificing beauty or convenience in neighborhoods where residents may be tempted to not worry about window bars. After all, who wants to be the house on the block that makes all the other homes look a little worse by having something ugly on the exterior of their house? At the same time, you don’t want to invite risk. If you leave your windows exposed your home could easily become a target for professional criminals looking for an easy hit or a desperate person who knows he or she can travel to a nice neighborhood and find a house without a window gate, allowing easy entry. You don’t have to weigh the pros and cons of window gates anymore. Instead, you can get all the security you want without sacrificing appearance.

A good security provider offering custom ironwork can help you plan a good layout, deliver metalwork that meets FDNY regulatory specifications and end up with an attractive solution that adds a layer of protection and attractiveness to your home. This kind of solution can be perfect if you are concerned about security, but also pride yourself in keeping your home pleasant to the eye.

What to look for in custom gates
While custom gates can provide you with a combination of safety and beauty that you want, you have to look out for providers that may cut corners and give you a substandard product. There are a few things you can do to avoid this:

Check for certifications: An official FDNY approval is absolutely essential if you want to install window gates. It is also worth considering the slight distinction between New York Protection Gates, Manhattan Protection Gates and folding gates. In many cases, your solution provider can help you make the right choice.

Know what to expect from a provider: Generally speaking, a good vendor will actually come to your residence and measure your windows before progressing to actually making the gate. You should also be able to get help from the provider when it comes to choosing the right windows to put a gate over and making sure the property is protected. While you may be able to get what you need from an iron worker, partnering with a security solution vendor that can also provide iron work solutions is often the best option.

Transparency: Make sure you avoid any hidden costs. Working with a vendor that can offer a free estimate and clearing pricing range can go a long way to helping you get what you need.

The right custom window gate can give you protection and attractiveness in one bundle, making it an ideal option for homeowners that are unsure if they want to deal with the eye sore of bars over windows.

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Quick hits – Five things to consider when purchasing window gates

In urban locations like New York City, attractive, but functional window gates are essential to protecting your home without having to deal with the ugliness and inflexibility of basic bars. A good window gate will not only be attractive, it will also allow people on the inside of the house to easily get out in an emergency while still protecting you, your family and your possessions from criminals. However, choosing the right window gate for your needs is not always as simple as looking at an online catalog and deciding which one you like the most. Instead, there are a number of security and functionality considerations to keep in mind, making help from a professional security company essential.

There’s plenty to consider when considering window gates, but some of the most important things to think about include:

Installation locations
Putting window gates on is not just a simple matter of attaching a gate to all of your first-floor windows. Instead, you have to think about any window that could realistically be broken and climbed into by a burglar. A small picture window near a door may not need to be gated if there is no way that a burglar, after breaking it, can reach the door and unlock it from the inside. At the same time, a second- or third-floor window may have to be gated if it is easily accessible from a fire escape or can be climbed to with relative ease. Analyzing your home to identify possible entry points can require expert assistance, making a good partnership with a security provider a key element of choosing the right window gates.

Regional standards
Different cities and counties may have distinct standards for window gates to ensure they are properly resistant to different forces, but also not going to get in the way of firefighters or law enforcement officials if they need to come to your home. Having certified window gates is key to complying with these regulations and avoiding trouble later down the line.

Deployment services
Even if you are handy, there are a few nuances to window gate installation that could make the project difficult. You will likely be depending on these gates to protect your family, so you don’t want to take the risk that comes with a poor installation. Instead, it is often helpful to work with a security company that can help you choose the right gate for your needs, measure it properly for your windows and install it successfully.

Appearance
How the gates look may not be a priority, but lets face it, you probably don’t want an ugly metal monstrosity blocking your windows, and any natural light you may be getting. You probably want to have a gate that is visually pleasing, will look nice next to your home’s wall treatment and will complement the aesthetic of your property. Some providers offer custom gates, allowing you to get exactly what you need from a solution.

Supplementary solutions
You probably don’t want to end up in a situation where you put on window gates, make burglars think you have something valuable to protect, and end up having something stolen because of other vulnerabilities. Working with a security provider that offers window gates can help you get insight into other areas of risk in your home, ensuring that you will be fully protected and better positioned to prevent someone from breaking into your home.

Getting window gates and installing them may seem easy, but there’s a lot to think about and decide on when choosing a solution. An effective partnership with a security solution provider can make it much easier for you to get the solution you need.

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NYC works to eliminate poorly installed window, door locks

While window gates and double-key door locks can be effective at keeping unwanted individuals from entering an apartment or home, their blade is double-edged, as they also have the power to keep people inside when they need to escape. This situation reared its ugly head when two young girls in Brooklyn passed away in a fire when they could not open a window gate lock, according to a report by The New York Times.

“The girls had spent their last moments searching frantically through the box for something that would open the lock and release them from the inferno,” Mayor David Dinkins said, according to the news source.

For this reason, the New York City Council is campaigning a new project that would prevent the unauthorized use of window gates and double-key door locks. If individuals want to use these physical security tools, they need to hire a professional locksmith to install the devices, The New York Times reported. This is because a lot of people set up the locks themselves and do not know how to properly disarm them to escape in an emergency.

Dinkins and his administration said they are working to advance the legislation, while simultaneously informing landlords and tenants of the dangers associated with inappropriately installing the security accessories.

Window gates of any kind need to be attached to the window frame and installed by a professional. Currently the main concern Dinkin and his administration has is the gates that face fire escapes or are secured with a lock and key, as these are already breaching fire safety codes, The New York Times reported.

As for double-key lock cylinders, which can be opened on the inside and outside of doors, Dinkins said these devices need to only lock from the inside, as the opposite will make it difficult for someone to get out of a residence during a fire or other emergency.

“This is a campaign that is designed to save lives,” Dinkins said.

A separate report by the New York City Fire Department said the agency is constantly trying to drive down fire-related deaths by inspecting property and educating the public. The campaign to bar unauthorized installations of window gates and outside locks will likely help reduce fatalities, which is an ongoing concern for any major city.

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