Statistics for residential crime are getting worse in many areas of the US, despite the fact that other types of crime are decreasing. Some blame the economy for the rise in burglaries, while others (law enforcement professionals in particular) blame increased drug use and addiction. Whatever the reasons, and there are certainly several, we’ve reached a point where there’s a burglary every 14 seconds. And local police departments are weighing in with sound advice on how to make your home less of a target for intruders. Today’s prescription for peace of mind comes from the Sheriff’s Station in Malibu/Lost Hills, California.
If you were locked out of your house, would you still be able to get in? Maybe you keep an unlocked window in the back, a hidden key in your mailbox or on top of a window ledge. You may think this is a good idea, but guess what? If you can break in, so can a burglar!
One out of 10 homes will be burglarized this year. For a small amount of time and money, you can make your home more secure and reduce your chances of being a victim. Many burglars will spend no longer than 60 seconds to try breaking into a home. Good locks and good neighbors who watch out for each other can be big deterrents.
Check the Locks
- Make sure every external door has a sturdy, well-installed dead bolt lock. Key-in-the knob locks alone are not enough.
- Sliding glass doors can offer easy access if they are not properly secured. You can secure them by installing commercially available locks or putting a broomstick or dowel in the inside track to jam the door. To prevent the door from being lifted off the track, drill a hole through the sliding door frame and the fixed frame. Then insert a pin in the hole.
- Lock double-hung windows with key locks or “pin” windows by drilling a small hole into a 45-degree angle between the inner and outer frames, then insert a nail that can be removed. Secure basement windows with grills or grates.
- Instead of hiding keys around the outside of your home, give an extra key to a neighbor you trust.
Check the Doors
- A lock on a flimsy door is about as effective as locking your car door but leaving the window down.
- All outside doors should be metal or solid wood.
- If your doors don’t fit tightly in their frames, install weather stripping around them.
- Install a peephole or wide-angle viewer in all entry doors so you can see who is outside without opening the door. Door chains break easily and don’t keep out intruders.
Check the Outside
- Thieves hate bright lights. Install outside lights and keep them on at night.
- Keep your yard clean. Prune back shrubbery so it doesn’t hide doors or windows. Cut back tree limbs that a thief could use to climb to an upper-level window.
- If you travel, create the illusion that you’re home by getting some timers that will turn lights on and off in different areas of your house throughout the evening. Lights burning 24 hours a day signal an empty house.
- Leave shades, blinds and curtains in normal positions. And don’t let your mail or newspapers pile up. Call the post office and newspaper to stop delivery or have a neighbor collect it.
Consider an Alarm
- Alarms can be a good investment, especially if you have many valuables in your home or live in an isolated area and/or one with a history of break-ins.
- Check with several companies before you buy, so you can decide what level of security fits your needs. Do business with an established company and check references before signing a contract.
- Learn how to use your system properly! Don’t “cry wolf” by setting off false alarms. People will stop paying attention and you’ll probably be fined.
Of course, here at FrontPoint we like this section the best – especially the part about shopping before you buy. Get as much information and read as many reviews as you can. The FrontPoint web site is also a great source for learning about how alarm systems work, and what features to look for. Plus, you can always give us a call and speak to one our professional (and non-pushy) Security Consultants.
We like seeing home security tips in the news, and we share a lot of them – includingour own Top 10 List, which has a lot of overlap with the advice above. And we agree with law enforcement professionals who recommend home security technology. It just makes sense to increase your peace of mind with a monitored home alarm system – preferably one with safer cellular monitoring, the kind FrontPoint sells. When you add in our industry-best interactive features, you can see why FrontPoint is the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked home alarm company in the US. When you are ready for safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat, FrontPoint is your clear choice. That’s the best tip you can get for protecting your home and family!