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Safeguard your home and everything in it – including you
Thursday, 17 January 2019 08:39

 Safeguard Your Home And Everything In It Including You

Yes, security systems are important in thwarting thieves, but they don’t cover everything. You still need to be aware of your home’s weak spots that criminals case out from afar.

Check out these danger zones where a few simple changes will safeguard your home and everything in it—including you!

Your home’s exterior appearance

Keep mum about your vacation on social media until your safe return (no emoji-laden “Finally, leaving for two weeks in Dubai!!!” posts on Facebook, please). When you purchase expensive items or receive them as gifts, avoid leaving the evidence—such as the box for your laptop or 90-inch LED-screen TV—out in the open in your garbage area (where documents of interest to identity thieves should be shredded before being tossed).

Trim shrubbery so it looks neat and hovers below your windows so it can’t serve as a burglar’s hiding place or makeshift stepladder. Make sure the exterior is free of tools, which should be locked safely away.

Doors

Ideally, your doors should be constructed of solid-core metal, devoid of those lovely glass panes that can be easily broken—and equipped with sturdy double locks.

Standard locks can be opened with a credit card. You need a deadbolt lock that extends at least an inch and a half into the door frame, because you’d practically have to kick down the door to get in.”

Consider a “smart lock” that enables you to open doors using a mobile device, keypad, or finger scan. And get a store-bought patio-door lock to replace the flimsy (and yes, breakable) broomstick that you’ve wedged into your patio-door track.

Make sure garage doors—and any entryways from the garage to the house—remain tightly locked.

Pay extra attention to securing doors that are below ground level.

 

Windows

Hang drapes or blinds in your windows to deter thieves from seeing what kind of loot lies inside. Near entryways, consider glass coated with a film that makes it difficult to break.

Get storm windows. Shattering two panes of glass not only makes it more difficult to get in, but creates more noise that will prompt neighbors to call the police.

Get deadbolt locks for your windows to complement the ones on your doors. And note that security grates or bars on windows can be a mixed blessing. Though they may deter thieves, they can pose a safety hazard if a fire or other emergency is blocking other exits in your home—and you can’t find the grate key in your scramble to escape. Plus, they’re unattractive to buyers, who may wonder if the neighborhood is really that bad.

Lights

Install motion-detecting lights all around your house, and make sure you can adjust the sensitivity so they won’t flip on (and freak you out) when a tree branch rustles in the wind. With compact fluorescent bulbs, these lights won’t use too much extra energy. And note that while a security lighting system is important, there’s actually less risk to your home at night.

Nearly 70% of burglaries are committed during the daytime, when thieves know people aren’t around. Lights can help, but you need to make sure you complete the full spectrum of safety measures in order to ward off thieves.

Alarms

If you do have an alarm system, you should post the alarm company’s logo on your lawn and/or entrance. Generic alarm signs from hardware stores do nothing to deter experienced thieves. Make sure you keep the system on at all times—a precaution many homeowners neglect to take. Also note that a dog can serve as a secondary (but not a substitute) alarm.

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