Following these six tips will enable you to return home to find it as you left it—safe and sound.
1. Prevent burglars from window shopping. Use your window treatments to deter prowlers. Pull down the shades or blinds, or draw the drapes completely closed so that your home’s valuables are out of plain sight. Burglars like to ‘window shop’ or check out your giant flat-screen TV and other prized electronics before breaking and entering.
2. Avoid tempting with your trash. On the morning of garbage day, you can see who just bought new electronics and other valuable items. Break down the boxes and turn them inside out so that they are flat and only the plain side is visible. The last thing you need is for your children’s best Christmas gift, e.g. a new video game system, to be stolen because you left its box at the curb for everyone—including criminals, to see.
3. Shed some automatic light indoors. Why not make it look as though you are home when you aren’t? Setting timers for one or a few indoor lights is a great way to thwart potential intruders. Be sure to place a light or lamp in an area that illuminates a large window viewable from the street so passers-by believe that you are home. Prepare to spend between $5 to $40 depending on the timer’s features.
4. Illuminate the outdoors. Dark or poorly lit property is an opportunity for burglars to move about unseen. Exterior lighting is critical and your best option is to install motion-sensing security lights because they are activated whenever motion is detected. The sudden switch from dark to bright light will startle prowlers and alert neighbors as to activity.
5. Examine entry ways. Nearly two-thirds of all burglaries take place at ground floor windows and doors. The best choices for entry doors are either solid wood or steel-wrapped wood-core doors because hollow-core doors can be kicked in rather easily. If you do not currently have a deadbolt on your exterior doors, have one installed. Insurance companies and locksmiths recommend Grade 1 or Grade 2 American National Standards Institute deadbolt locks. Be sure to always keep all windows and doors locked.
6. Invest in a fire-proof safe. Storing your valuables in a heavy safe will keep them safe. Most models are too heavy for burglars to physically carry out of your home, however it is still best to place a safe in an inconspicuous area of your home such as a basement storage or utility room.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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