Six Simple Ways To Better Secure Your Home

Dated: 02/08/2017

Views: 416

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There is no place more precious and more personal than your home, and there are few things more terrifying that the idea of someone invading that space. It falls to us, the homeowners, to do what we can to protect ourselves and our property. Surprisingly, a lot of that starts at the curb.


Put Yourself in Their Shoes

My mother-in-law told lives in Franklin, and she told me about something that happened about 15 years ago. She worked hard on her front room, and always left her blinds and curtains open. One night, two people started knocking on her door and looking in her windows claiming their car had broken down and they needed help. Concerned, she called the police to find out this was the fifth report that night, and all in different neighborhoods.


Little things that we might not consider - leaving our blinds open so crooks can see what's available to steal, or planting bushes near windows that make perfect hiding spots - actually make our homes targets for attack. It might feel odd, but look at your house from the street and ask yourself - what about your house makes your an easy target?


Get Some Backup

Look - if you're really worried about a home break in, you should consider professional home monitoring and a security system. However, there's obvious costs associated with that not all of us want to take on. The first "down grade" from that would be a basic home alarm that will alert you when doors or windows are tampered with. These generally run a few hundred dollars, and can be self installed.


If we're really looking for security on the cheap, then it's all about faking it. Motion activated flood lights outdoors are an effective deterrent, but you can all buy brand-name security company signs and stickers to scream "I'm protected" at would-be criminals. If you want to take it a step further, you can even buy fake security cameras with a little blinking red light for as low as $10.


Put on a Show

I know – this flies in the face of everything my dad taught me – but leaving on a light or the TV when you're not home can throw off would-be thieves looking for an easy mark. The illusion that someone is home, and the noise and flickering light of a TV can make all the difference between a break in and a secure home. Now that we have LED bulbs and Energy Star rated TV's, it would even hit your electric bill as bad as it used.


Up Your Hide and Seek Game

We all forget our key at some point and the problem is only compounded by little ones. It's common for us to hide a key somewhere near the front door - the problem is, thieves know that too. The best option? Eliminate the need for a key with a key-less entry system, or a key-pad operated garage door. Just be sure to make the password something hard to guess - you're own address is a no-no.


If you have to hide a physical key, make it difficult and far away from the door. My parents used to stash a front door key at the far corner of the backyard inside a wind chime you had to go through the fence gate to get to.

Lock It Up

Here's the thing - people are predictable. Most of us put our pills in the bathroom, jewelry and cash in an upper dresser drawer, and if you own a gun, it's likely within five feet of your bed. If I can guess that, so can burglars.Every home should have a safe or sturdy fire box to start important documents and irreplaceable. You don't need to go full Scrooge McDuck either - even a simple, cheap safe that can be bolted down creates enough of a hurdle to dissuade your average crook.


Get Creative

Have something you need easy access to, and locking it up just isn't feasible? Then get creative in how you store it. Where ever you would first thing to hide it, throw that out. If it came that easily to you, you know it's not that hard for someone else to guess. Remember, all you're trying to do is create enough of a barrier between what a thief wants and the item that it isn't worth the time and risk of getting caught.


Be Possessive

I read a story recently about a New York woman who's camera was stolen and then immediately put up for sale on Craigslist. The police couldn't do anything unless they knew the serial numbers matched, saying it'd be impossible to priove. The woman, thinking fast, called the "seller" and asked for the serial number to confirm it was still under warranty and matched it to her paperwork. Crook caught.


You don't have to go to such extreme means, but something a simple as a your name, written in permanent marker on the back of your TV where you'll never notice it could be enough to prove ownership. For jewelry, this might mean an engraves name on the inside of a ring band. For things that can't be easily marked, take photos and start a spreadsheet of your valuables in case things are ever stolen - your insurance company will appreciate it.

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