Home Security Basics-A Short Guide

How many times have you heard someone say that they're safe because they live in a gated community, have an alarm on their car and home, or live in a nice neighborhood? Some don't even lock the doors to their home or car. It's understandable that this way of thinking can result in someone becoming the victim of a crime.

What are the basics of security?

They are the things we've become complacent about because of alarm systems, security cameras, and high tech equipment that we rely on to protect us, our home, our families, and our possessions. We've become vulnerable because we expect special equipment or someone else to take care of us. As any expert will tell you, paying attention to the basics is what will help keep us from becoming victims of crime.

In today's world of modern technology, one would think we would be safe. However, the basics which we were taught as children are what we all need to remember. Some of these basics are as follows:

  • Lock the doors and windows to your home, all of them, including the door to the garage. We've all heard people say that they don't bother to lock the door to their home that is connected to the garage because they think the automatic garage door will protect their home. A change of frequency on a garage door opener could make your home an easy target.
  • Keep your doors locked even when you are at home.
  • Install outdoor lighting to illuminate doors and windows. Lights with motion detectors are very effective.
  • Check to make sure all doors are installed properly, hinges to the inside, locks that have at least a three-quarter to one inch throw, and a peephole properly placed in the door.
  • Sliding glass doors should have special locks mounted or a well-placed broomstick in the track - - which will make it almost impossible to open. The sliding doors also need the proper installation. Many homeowners would be amazed to learn that sliding glass doors are often installed improperly. All a burglar has to do is lift the door out of the tracks and he is suddenly inside your home.
  • Window air conditioning units give a very easy point of entry if they are not installed properly. If the A/C is not mounted to the frame, and secured so that it cannot be easily removed, have it installed by a professional. Easy points of entry make you a target.
  • Don't hide a spare key! If you must have an extra key, give it to a trusted neighbor or family member. Never place it under a front door mat for a friend, vendor or family member. It's the first place a burglar will look!
  • Remember to require vendors to show proof of identification; uniforms are not enough. Make sure you know who the caller is before you admit him into your residence.
  • Never admit that you are home alone.
  • Keep your shades and blinds down, particularly at night.
  • Never open the door to a stranger. Remember, no matter how strong a door is, once it is open by even a crack, you become vulnerable.
  • If there is an emergency and someone wishes to use your phone, get the phone number and make the call for them.
  • Don't rely on others to protect you. Get to know your neighbors, your community and your surroundings. Be aware of who is in your community and report any strange behavior. It is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers near your phone in the event they are needed. Never hesitate to use 911 if you are, or even feel you are, in fear of your life.
  • Don't leave your garage door opener in your car. Breaking out a car window or accessing your convertible with the top down can give a burglar easy access to your residence.
  • If you have lost your keys, have the locks changed. The alternative could be far more expensive.
  • Don't carry your house key on the same key ring as your car keys. Burglars have been known to be valet attendants that use clay moulds to replicate your keys.

Many people are first time homeowners and have always relied on a landlord to ensure their safety. Others have just become complacent with their surroundings and forget to double-check their homes.

Go back to the basics by inspecting your home to see what changes need to be made. Many will be surprised that there is indeed a point or two of vulnerability into their homes. The simple things we do to protect ourselves may save our possessions and perhaps even our lives.

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Source: Association Times
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