10 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe

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Dec 9, 2006
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Courtesy of the Burglary Prevention Council.
According to the Burglary Prevention Council, the majority of burglaries in the United States occur in July and August, while many families are on vacation. "It doesn't take much or cost much to out-smart most burglars. They're usually not professionals, but rather people looking to take advantage of an easy target," says Deb Peterson, home protection expert with Intermatic, Inc. "Burglars seek out homes that are unoccupied and unprotected and easy to access through concealed entry points. In many cases they only need 60 seconds to break into a home." Your home may be unoccupied while you're on vacation, but it doesn't have to be unprotected. Follow these simple precautions to safeguard your home while you are away.

1. Doors and Windows
Secure all doors and windows, including pet entrances and garage doors. An open window or door is an open invitation for burglars. Thieves are also quick to spot weak locks that may be easily forced open. Install deadbolt locks with a one inch throw and reinforced strike plate with three inch screws on doors. Mount high-quality locks on all windows, particularly those at ground level.

2. Sliding Doors
Secure sliding glass doors. Place a metal rod or a piece of plywood in the door's track and install vertical bolts. These will help prevent burglars from forcing the door open or lifting it off the track.

3. Indoor Lighting
Place timers on indoor lamps and appliances to light up your home at night. Set timers to turn on radios and televisions randomly during the day. Try a variable timer with 2 on/off settings per day. Before you leave for your vacation, check that all lightbulbs are working properly.

4. Outdoor Lighting
Keep the perimeter of your home well lighted. Install low voltage or solar lighting around porches, decks, entrances, walkways, pathways and other dark outdoor areas. Before you leave, make sure that all lightbulbs are working properly.

5. Mail and Newspapers
Stop mail and newspaper deliveries, or have a trusted neighbor collect them while you are away so that they don't accumulate. Ask your neighbor to also remove any advertising flyers that are deposited in your mailbox or around your door, driveway or lawn.

6. House Keys
Never hide keys under doormats or in mailboxes or flowerpots. Give an extra key to a trusted neighbor and ask them to check your home regularly while you're away.

7. Shades and Blinds
Keep some of your shades and blinds up and your curtains open to maintain a normal, everyday appearance in your home.

8. Voice Mail
Never leave a message on your voice mail or telephone answering machine telling people that you're away from home.

9. Landscaping
Keep shrubbery trimmed and away from entrances and walkways. While large, ornate hedges may be beautiful, they also provide a hiding place for burglars. Arrange to have someone care for your lawn or garden while you're away so your house doesn't look empty.

10. Local Police Departments
Check with your local police department. Many offer home security evaluations or checklists. Ask them to check your home or patrol your neighborhood more closely while you are away.

Jun 1, 2007
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Those are good ones.... we had a rash of burgelerys around here years ago and they were people that were out of town and the police were supposed to be watching their houses.... come to find out that the board that showed who was on vacation at the police dept was visible from the entryway... and the crooks would stop by the police department and then go rob the houses... lol

Jan 4, 2007
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thanks for posting D. Interesting..

Karren how angry would you be if you were robbed like that!


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