Mobile homes offer unique challenges from a home security standpoint. They typically do not have the sturdy construction that traditional houses do, and the doors, windows, and frames are more likely to have weaknesses. The lot size a mobile home sits on varies, but larger lots typically mean fewer potential witnesses nearby if someone tries to break into the unit. Mobile homes are known for being more economical and cost-effective, meaning you might not have the means to purchase a full security system. However, you do have options in making your mobile home more secure.
Doors and Windows
Doors and windows in mobile homes are sometimes subject to warping from either heat or water exposure, and this makes them easier to bypass. Check all the windows and doors in your unit, and make sure they fit into the frames snugly. Also, check the frames themselves to ensure that there are no gaps or breaks in the construction. If there are, you need to have them either repaired or replaced. This also helps your insulation, lowering your utility bills while keeping your unit more comfortable during times of extreme heat or cold.
The doors in mobile homes are often hollow as well. This makes them cheaper, but less durable. Invest in solid exterior doors. Make sure the doors are properly pinned in the hinges as well. If the pins are loose or coming out, the door is easier to remove from the hinges, bypassing the locks.
Utilize dowel rods on any sliding windows. These rods help prevent the windows from being slid open from outside the unit.
All exterior doors in the mobile home absolutely must be fitted with deadbolts. Many units only include knob locks on the doors, and this is insufficient. Deadbolts are worth the added expense and installation compared to the cost and trauma of having your home violated and your possessions were stolen. This is also why the door frames themselves need to have solid construction. If a deadbolt is connected to a hollow or weak frame, it provides no protection at all because the frame itself wilts when force is applied to it, making the deadbolt worthless. Door and window jammers are also useful for adding additional strength to your perimeter for a relatively low cost.
Consider getting a safe to make your personal papers and valuables, such as jewelry, harder to remove. The larger the safe, the harder it is to get it out of the unit. This also protects the valuables against disasters such as a fire that can consume a mobile home in seconds if you invest in a fireproof model. Smoke detectors are also a must when it comes to protecting the unit from damage.
Use timers on your lights when you are not home to give the illusion that someone is there. This turns your lights on and off at specified times even when you aren’t present. Motion-sensor lighting around the outside is also essential and cost-effective at keeping people away from your home at night.
While a security system with a monitoring service may be out of the question from an expense standpoint, home alarms without monitoring are cheaper and effective. These systems are quick to install, and they activate a loud siren when a door or window gets breached that startles the intruder and alerts your neighbors of the intrusion.
Talk to your neighbors about forming a neighborhood watch if you don’t have one already. Keep a lookout in your neighborhood and stay aware of what’s happening on your neighbors’ property in addition to your own. Report any suspicious activity to the police department. Post signs around the neighborhood advertising the neighborhood watch as well. This gives potential thieves something to think about before trying to cause trouble where you live.
Mobile homes can be secured with the right attitude and equipment. It also doesn’t have to break your bank account. Inspect your mobile home regularly to ensure that there aren’t any glaring holes in your home security that put you at risk.