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| Home Security|
Security in the home is a matter of systematically making your home more difficult and less attractive to break in to. We all know that given enough time and concealment, anyone can get through any level of physical security. That fact might be discouraging; however, almost all home break-ins are opportunistic crimes, and homes are picked at the last minute because of no one being home, or their being left obviously unsecured. Start with the basics, and work your way up to whatever level of physical security you require.
Establish basic perimeter security:
- Use the locks you already have. All too many home break-ins are through unlocked doors, or open garage doors. Since most residential break-ins happen in the day, keep your doors locked even if you are home during the day.
- Exterior doors should have deadbolts.
- Sliding glass doors need a readily-removable securing bar or stick to keep them from being pried open (although this has not been a real problem lately).
- Fence your yard and secure the gates if you can. Don't let anyone be able to get up to a rear door without having to cross another barrier.
- Use heat or motion-sensitive lights to eliminate the hiding places.
- If you have a trusted neighbor who is home during the day, make sure they know who belongs at your house and who doesn't, and be sure they can always reach you in an emergency. Make it clear to them that you want them to call 9-1-1 for you if anyone suspicious is hanging around your house.
Create the lived-in look:
- Don't make it obvious you aren't home, but be creative about it. Alternate lights on timers, have TV's and radios come on and off.
- If you can find a trusted person to house-sit for you, that's even better. Almost every burglar knocks on the front door first to see if anyone answers.
- Get neighbors to park in your driveway if you are going to be away for awhile, or are gone during the day.
Manage your property:
- Don't make it obvious you have just acquired new computers and stereos by leaving the cartons piled up in front of your house. Cut them up and put them in the trash.
- Don't keep large amounts of cash or jewelry in a residence, or even suggest to anyone that such valuables might be there.
- You need a current, itemized list of your serialized property in case it's stolen- both for us, and for the insurance claim.
- Photograph jewelry items, and have them appraised.
- Critical, unreplacable documents need to be in a safety deposit box.
- Should have a local bell, not a siren.
- Should be periodically tested.
- Should be designed for extensive perimeter protection first, then build interior traps.
- You, or someone with a key, should always be available to respond for a search of the premises if the alarm is activated.
- If you have temporary guests, small children, or transient household help in the home who may not understand how to turn the alarm on and off, then don't set it. Guest workers are a major source of false alarms.
- YOU are responsible for the operation and maintenance of your system. If your alarm generates too many false alarms, we may not respond. Please see the current rules for alarm system owners.
- NEVER leave a vehicle parked unlocked, especially with the keys in the ignition
- NEVER leave valuable property in plain sight in the vehicle, locked or not.
- NEVER leave money, your wallet, or your cell phone in plain sight in your vehicle.
- The safest place to leave a vehicle parked is in a locked garage. At other times, pick secure, well-lit places
- Use a vehicle alarm. The instances of successful auto theft or auto burglary from a vehicle equipped with a functioning burglar alarm are rare.