Use Caution to Protect Your Home

In about the time it takes to read this sentence, someone can burglarize your home. No home is absolutely burglarproof, but there are measures you can take to make your home less attractive to burglars.

Begin by performing a security check of your property:

Examine shrubs and bushes near doors and windows. If they are high and overgrown they can provide as much privacy for burglars as for you. Trim shrubs regularly so that burglars cannot camouflage their activities.
Check your exterior doors. Are they solid-core or metal, or weaker hollow doors? A burglar can kick in a weaker door. Also, check the locks to ensure they are good-quality deadbolts. Locks that can be turned with a bent wire are useless.
Make sure all windows have some kind of anti-slide lock, especially if they are located near ground level.
Keep the garage door closed and locked. Also ensure that any ladders in the garage are inaccessible to burglars.
Make sure you have adequate yard lighting. Install motion detector lights to cover areas of possible entry.
Remove any large, decorative signs that have your family name on them. They are very nice but are an invitation to burglars to look up your phone number to see if you are home. A burglar with a car or cell phone and a phone book can even park in front of your home and call.
Keep large amounts of cash and jewelry in a safety deposit box at a bank. If you hide these in your home you must be very innovative. Professional burglars are good at their trade; whatever hiding spot you think of, they will think of, too.
Engrave all your valuables with your social insurance number or other coding method. This makes it hard for thieves to sell the goods and easier for police to find them. When you leave your home for even short periods of time, be sure to take the following precautions:
Lock all windows and doors.
Use an answering device for your telephone; never reveal your name, whereabouts or any other personal information.
Close drapes or blinds.
Leave on a number of lights as well as a radio or television - all on timers - so they turn on and off at appropriate times.
Never leave a note on the door or in the mailbox. When you leave for more than a day or for extended periods of time, take additional precautions:
Have trusted friend or neighbour pick up the mail and any advertising left at the door, and have them put out a little trash for you on garbage day.
Arrange for someone to mow your lawn, water your plants or shovel your driveway and sidewalk. An unkempt lawn or fresh, undisturbed snow on your sidewalk or doorway is a sure sign that no one is home.
Have small signs stuck to windows or doors with warning such as "high voltage on entry" or "area patrolled by guard dogs". These signs don't have to be true; the idea is to confuse the burglar and make him or her reconsider about entering your home.

Alarm systems
An alarm system adds an extra measure of security to your home. There are many type of burglar alarms on the market. The best and most expensive are the hard-wired ones which are professionally installed and monitored. Wireless systems which are professionally monitored by a security company can protect the doors and windows as well as the interior of the home.

While an alarm system may not always prevent a burglar from entering your home, it will minimize the amount of damage and theft that occurs since the intruder will usually flee when the system's alarm goes off.




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