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The Basics to Boosting Home Security

Posted by kim carpenter on November 2, 2010
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New Picture (4)Every 14.6 seconds, a home is burglarized in the United States.  Most burglaries happen between 10am and 3pm with the burglar spending only between 12-18 minutes in your home.  Are you doing all you can to keep your home safe from burglars?  Just following a few helpful tips can lower your chances of becoming another home burglary statistic.

Develop Good Security Habits: Roughly one-third of all burglaries occur through unlocked doors and windows, so just establishing a routine to follow before you leave your home, such as locking all doors and windows and making sure the alarm systems are turned on, are just a couple good ways to deter burglars.  Additionally, do not make it easy for the burglar by hiding the keys in obvious places, such as under the doormats or on top of the doorframe.

Invest in Strong Exterior Doors: Many burglars kick in doors, so the doors to your home should be made of metal or solid hardwood and be at least one inch thick.  It is very important that your door fits your door frame and both are strong.  A good lock is not much good when paired with a weak door frame or door.  You can strengthen any exterior door by using a deadbolt lock and a reinforced metal box strike.

Choose the Right Lock: Deadbolts offer the best protection, but make sure the cylinder is “pick resistant.”  Some deadbolts are locked with a key from the outside and a thumb turn on the inside.  There are also double-cylinder locks that require keys on both the outside and the inside.  Just make sure if you use this type of lock, you keep a key within reach of the door in case family members need to leave quickly due to an emergency, such as a fire.

Secure Your Windows: Make sure your windows are locked, and such devices as key locks provide extra protection.  Window film is not just for reducing the sun’s ultraviolet rays in your home, but also can resist blows from both burglars trying to smash and grab and destructive weather.

Keep It Bright: Illuminate areas around doors, windows and blind spots with bright lighting.  Place outdoor motion-activated lights high out of reach, so they cannot be easily disabled.  Solar-powered lights are too dim to provide enough light for security, but there are many low-voltage light systems that will work great at providing extra security.  Remember, before going away from your home, always leave a few lights on and maybe even put lights and a radio on automatic timers.

Landscape Wisely: Tall foundation plants and high fences are great cover for criminals, so make sure you trim tree branches close to the home.  Think about putting gravel in your landscaping beds around the house to make it easier to hear anyone lurking outside.

Vacation Time Precautions: Don’t announce to the world you are on vacation by letting your newspapers pile up outside or have an overflowing mailbox.  Temporarily stop your newspaper and have the post office hold your mail until you return.  During the spring and summer, ask someone to mow your yard, and in the winter, to shovel your driveway.  If possible, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to stop by and check on your home while you are away.

Consider a Burglar Alarm: Homes without security systems are about three times more likely to be burglarized, so if in the budget, take a look at some security systems.  These systems vary in cost, but oftentimes, the price can be partially offset by homeowner’s insurance discounts.  Check with your insurance company to see which alarm systems will get you a discount.

Just taking a few extra precautions can help keep you, your family, and your home safe.

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