Many of you have seen FrontPoint’s list of 10 Top Home Security Tips – and we get a tremendous amount of positive feedback from single women, new homeowners, families with young children, and other groups looking for peace of mind. Of course, having a monitored home alarm is on the FrontPoint list, since protecting your home this way reduces the chance that your home will be targeted. It’s great when law enforcement weighs in on the topic, especially when their advice includes using monitored home security. The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) recently released a comprehensive guide to home security – and we’re happy that their list includes all our recommendations.
Burglary is mostly a crime of opportunity that capitalizes on the carelessness and neglect of the homeowner or renter. This paper contains tips on preventing home burglaries, vandalism, and other property crimes by controlling access, providing visibility, and maintaining your property. It also contains tips on protecting your home and property when you are away. These tips can significantly enhance the security of your home and property.
Getting Down to Specifics
You’ll want to read the entire SDPD list, as it’s very good. Here are a few highlights that caught our attention, by category:
- Install single cylinder dead-bolt locks on all doors. Install locking devices on all sliding glass doors and windows. Install good locks all doors that lead outside through garages or storage areas.
- Don’t rely on chain locks for security. They’re only good for privacy.
- Install locks on gates, garages, sheds, etc.
- Reinforce the glass in windows on the lock sides of doors so a burglar cannot break them and reach in to open the door.
- Trim trees so that limbs don’t provide access to roofs, second stories, etc.
- Put Neighborhood Watch, alarm company, and Operation ID stickers on entry doors and windows.
- Consider having a dog that can scare a stranger away by either barking or looking fierce. Keep an outside dog in a fenced area and have a good lock on the gate.
- Use fencing, gates, landscaping, pavement treatment, signs, etc. to define clear boundaries between your property and adjoining properties.
- Alarm systems should be Underwriters Laboratory (UL) certified – (like FrontPoint’s equipment, from GE Security!)
If your system is monitored, make sure the monitoring station is open 24/7 and has backup power. Inform your insurance company. You may qualify for a discount.
- When away, set your burglar alarm and notify your alarm company that you will be away. Then if an alarm occurs when you are away the company will not call your home first to verify the alarm; it will notify the police directly. Also provide the alarm company with an up-to-date list of persons to contact about the alarm and the need to secure your home after a burglary.
Your system should also have a fail-safe battery backup. Check the batteries periodically and replace them if necessary.
- Don’t give maids, babysitters, or others working in your home access to your home keys or alarm codes.
- Keep all doors and windows locked, even if you are just going out “for a minute.” If a window is left open a few inches for ventilation, pins or dowels should be inserted in the tracks to prevent someone from opening it more. Lock gates, garages, and sheds after each use.
- Don’t leave keys in mailboxes or planters, under doormats, or in other obvious hiding spots.
- Be suspicious of persons making unsolicited offers of services. Ask for photo identification before letting in anyone you don’t know.
- Don’t keep large sums of money at home. Keep valuable papers, stocks, bonds, expensive jewelry, coin collections, etc. in a bank safe deposit box.
- Leave outside lights on after dark or have outside lights controlled by a motion detector. Make sure there are no dark areas around the house, garage, or yard in which a person could hide.Check lights regularly and replace burnt out bulbs.
- Trim bushes to less than 3 feet to eliminate possible hiding places, especially near windows and sidewalks.
- Replace solid walls in front yards with open fencing to eliminate hiding places and make climbing more difficult.
- Install a wide-angle peephole in your front door so you can look out without being seen yourself.
Protecting Your Home and Property When Away
- Lock all doors and windows. Use deadbolts, dowels, or locking pins in sliding glass doors and windows to keep them from being pried open.
- Never announce your vacation plans on Facebook, My Space, Twitter, or other social networking sites.
- Use remote control features or timers on lights, radios, TVs, etc. to make them go on and off during the day and night to make your home appear occupied.
- Stop mail and newspaper delivery, or have neighbor pick up anything left at the home.
- Keep grass watered and cut. Water and trim other landscaping.
- Ask the neighbors to watch your home and report any suspicious activities.
The full SDPD list of home security tips is way more detailed than ours, but the concept is the same. We’re happy to offer their list here, in case there are precautions you can add to your own list. Remember, a monitored home alarm system is vital to any comprehensive home security solution. As the #1 ranked home security company in the US, FrontPoint wants you to feel safe – and be safe, with the latest features and wireless technologies that combine intrusion and fire monitoring, video, and even home automation. And yes, we have a lot of customers in San Diego!