Home security is a huge concern these days, given the increasingly unsafe environment we live in. The fact is, there are a number of easy, practical steps you can take to minimize the chances of your home being burglarized.
* Prevention if usually better than cure. Before you rent or buy a home / apartment, get to know the neighborhood. Talk to residents; ask about burglaries and other crimes in the locality. Being aware of what has been happening in the area should be a priority.
* If possible, have a security expert evaluate the home. Incidentally, many police departments will do a security check of your home at no cost. You will often be alerted to problems you didn’t know existed.
* Don’t hide keys outside the house for fear of being locked out. Getting a locksmith to open your door is a whole lot cheaper than losing valuables because a burglar discovered your hidden keys!
Where possible, team up with a neighbor and hold one set of each other’s keys. That way you have a spare set of keys available should the need arise.
* Trim bushes around your house before they grow enough to easily hide an intruder.
* Having good lighting around your home or apartment complex is an important factor in deterring intruders. If there are burnt-out bulbs or the lighting is inadequate, address the issue
* If you have windows accessible using fire escapes or directly from the ground, they should not open wide enough to let a person in. A screw built into the frame can accomplish this. There are other very effective stops also available. Of course, you should be able to escape in the event of a fire.
* There are anti-lift devices available that can prevent an entire window or sliding door being lifted out of its frame. If you do not install them, thieves may make locks irrelevant by lifting the window or door.
* Your door should have a dead bolt, not just the lock in the knob. Get one installed, if you don’t have one already.
* Avoid listing your complete address in the phone book. List only your street name, at most. This will prevent someone doing reverse listings to find out your name and phone number using your address.
* It is tempting to leave notes for your kids or neighbors on mailboxes and doors. This is an open declaration that you are not home.
* Do not announce your absence from home through your answering machine. Incidentally, an answering machine can be useful for identifying suspicious patterns of missed calls.
* There are a number of excellent home security systems available. If you feel the level of risk warrants it, consider using them.
* Decals are often a good deterrent. Alarm system decals or beware of dog, neighborhood watch signs can make would-be burglars think twice.
Utilize these suggestions and you will make your home a safer place to live in.