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Home Security

 

These security tips are to help you think about added protection. 
If a criminal wants something bad enough, nothing will stop them.
The more protection/security you have, the more likelihood that a criminal will bypass you and/or your property.

 
ALARMS

Alarms are a great burglar deterrent if utilized properly.  The problem most people have with them not “being effective” is that they give the alarm company the home phone number to call.  When they do this, the alarm company calls the homes for anywhere from a few minutes to up to 10 minutes giving the burglars a lot of time to get what they want and get out of the residence.  Ensure that you give the alarm company your cellular phone number, and/or alternate contact number where you can be reached or to someone who knows where you are.  This way when they call you, you can tell them that you are not home.

Another problem with alarms is that a lot of individuals get motion sensors installed in common areas of the home.  Motion sensors are very good items to have.  But if you have a pet free roaming your house, that pet will be setting off the alarm all day/night.  Most cities have ordinances against habitual false alarms and this is a citable offense.  If you have motion detectors and they are activated, please place your pet in a room that does not have motion sensors.

Consider also having sensors placed on windows in the event of glass breakage.

Silent alarms are good in the sense that if the above items are done (proper placement and alternate contact number), there is a good likelihood that Law Enforcement might be able to apprehend the suspects before they get out of the house.  However, depending on call volumes where Law Enforcement is responding to violent domestic disturbances, robberies, etc., they still might not be able to get every burglar that is breaking into a car or home.  Audible alarms are great in this instance as they typically scare the burglars away from your home since everyone will hear that loud alarm going off.  Again, ensure your pets are not in areas that they will set off the alarms as this can get you citations for false alarms and/or loud noise when a citizen complains and no burglary occurred.

 
FENCING/YARDS

Fences are a good item to have as fences under state statutes are determined to have given ‘notice’ to anyone that entrance into that area is considered trespassing.

Do not leave items in your yard in plain view if you intend on keeping the items.  Thieves WILL jump your fence to steal a push mower or bicycle (this does happen).

If you have a fence, consider putting a lock on the gate handles.

Do not leave items stacked along your fence as this only helps the thief climb your fence.

 
LIGHTING

If the street lamps in your area are inoperative (not lit) at night or you don’t have a street light at your street intersections, you can notify your city’s Street Department or Law Enforcement Agency so they can get the matter rectified.

Motion sensor lights or daylight sensitive lights should be placed on all four sides of your home.  It is best to put two on the backside of your house as most home burglaries occur through the back of the house either by breaking a window or kicking the back door.

Mount these on the corners of your home

You can get these motion sensor lights as you see above. You can also convert your front porch, patio, and exterior garage light by getting the motion sensor inserts. The inserts screw in to the light bulb socket, then place the bulb in the insert, and mount the motion sensor below the light assembly. The inserts are about $20 each at Lowe's and Home Depot.

Always leave your backdoor light on.  If you are worried about your electric bill, as we all are these days, you can get a sensor that installs in your standard light socket that will shut your light off during hours of daylight and turn it back on during hours of darkness.

If you will be away from your home for a lengthy period of time, it may be a good idea to leave your stove/fan light on, a bathroom light, and/or a front room lamp on to give an appearance of someone being home.  You may want to consider getting timers which plug into your standard wall socket and you then plug your lamps into the timer.  This will turn lights on and off giving an appearance of you being home.

 
WINDOWS

You can obtain either ‘thumbscrew’ locks or pins from most hardware stores.  Lowe’s, Home Depot, and several other stores sell the thumbscrew window lock item for about $1.50 to $2 each.  The thumbscrew locks are very simple to use.  They attach to the frame and have a threaded flathead screw that you turn.  You place these against the window from at the top edge of the liftable part of the window (same part that has the window locks).  The pins usually require a little drilling on your part so that they slide into the frame of the window.

Always leave your window blinds pointing upwards.  If your blinds are curved and pointing toward the floor, anyone can look down into your home and see what kind of items you have in your house.

If you have curtains, leave them closed when you are away from your home to block visibility into your home.

Always keep your windows locked unless you are home and have them open for ventilations.  When you close the windows, lock them.

Another option is to get “burglar bars” (photo above).  These are somewhat costly; however, provide another obstacle that can take much time on the burglar’s part to bypass.

 
DOORS

Sliding Glass Doors pose a big problem to most residences.  There are two items that can help reduce burglaries through back sliding glass doors.  Most hardware shops sell locking pins that are mounted through or on the back edge of the sliding glass door.  Another option is to get a strong piece of wood (like broom handles) or steel pole that will fit in the sliding glass door tract at the bottom (by the floor).  This not only will prevent the door from opening, but it is somewhat difficult to get a pole out of the tract from outside a residence.

Always keep your doors locked even if you are at home.  Many individuals today do not understand the meaning of knocking before entering an individual’s residence.

There are many types of locks for a home door.  You can get keyed deadbolts and keyless deadbolts where the only way to lock and unlock the door is from the inside.  These items are easy to install (recommended to have one of each).  There are new innovations of door locks that work as well.  You can purchase a sliding bar lock that mounts on the inside edge of your door, and/or a doorstop ring that mounts into the floor by the door.  Another device is a floor mounted security item many companies have manufactured and usually come as a kit.  You simply drill a small hole in the floor by the door and place the anchor in the hole.  Once this is completed, you simply take the security bar and place it in the anchor.  This prevents the door from being opened should a thief kick your door breaking the doorjamb. 

 
SECURITY CAMERAS

Security Cameras are a great security item since they not only deter thieves, but will catch them on video helping in apprehension should you become a victim.  You do not have to purchase the big bulky cameras you see in stores, there are several “spy cams” available on the market that are easily concealed.  Many of these type cameras can be record video using a laptop or home computer as well.

 

 
VALUABLE ITEMS

Mark all valuable items (except jewelry and collector coins as this reduces value) either by engraving the item or marking it with a Permanent UV Marker.  Include such information at your name, a phone number, and some identifiable number you will recognize (last 4 of social, driver’s license number, etc).  This will help the pawn shops and law enforcement when using a UV Light see who the merchandise belongs too and they will be able to contact you to verify if the items in someone’s possession is stolen or not.  Pawn Shops can then hold the item, possibly have the pawner’s identity, and notify law enforcement before they lose money when paying a pawner and then having to surrender the item to Law Enforcement.  Two manufacturers typically making these pens are Sanford and Dykem.  The following pictures are just two of the many UV security markers being sold in stores and on the Internet.

 


Click on either of these pictures to view details


 

MAKE A RECORD

Ensure you record the make, model, and serial numbers of all electronic items and items of value (weapons, bicycles, etc).  Also record your homeowner’s/renter’s insurance information on this record as well.  An example of making a record could be as simple as the following:

Make

Model

Serial Number

Value

“Panasonic”

60” TV

123456789

$1500.00

Keep the record of your valuable items somewhere safe.  This can be in a safety deposit box, in a adhesive backed packing slip affixed in your refrigerator, in a home mounted/installed safe, or anywhere that the record would be safe (fire-retardant place).

Take photographs of your valuable items (for example, jewelry), as this may be useful in recovering your items if they are stolen.

 

 

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