by: Ralph Winn
Think About it Burglar Alarms
knowing about a burglar's three worst enemies -- light, time and noise -- can help you protect your home from crime. A burglar won't find your home an "easy mark" if he's forced to work in the light, if he has to take a lot of time breaking in, and if he can't work quietly.
"Case" Your Place like a burglar
Take the time to "case" your house or apartment, just as a burglar would. Here are a few questions to get you started:
1, Where is the easiest entry?2, How can you make it more burglar resistant?
Trim trees and shrubs near your doors and windows, and think carefully before installing a high, wooden fence around your back yard. High fences and shrubbery can add to your privacy, but privacy is a burglar's asset. Consider trading a little extra privacy for a bit of added security. Force any would-be burglar to confront a real enemy -- light. Exterior lights, mounted out of easy reach, can reduce the darkness a burglar finds comforting.
Slow down a Burglar
How can you slow burglars down? Time is a burglar's enemy, too. A burglar delayed for four or five minutes is apt to give up and try for another, less difficult location. Simple security devices -- including such ordinary equipment as nails, screws, padlocks, door and window locks, grates, bars and bolts -- can discourage intruders and keep them from entering. How about noise? Try to make the general prospect of robbing your home a noisy job. Noise is that important third enemy of the burglar. Many types of alarm systems are available, with detectors to be mounted on doors and windows. Deciding just how much home protection you need -- and can afford -- is a personal judgment. Ask your police department or sheriff to have someone survey your home and advise you about suitable protection.
What would a Burglar Want?
Are any of your valuables - such as a painting, a silver collection or an antique chair-easy to see from outside? Rearranging your furnishings might be advisable if it serves to make your homeless inviting to criminals! Incidentally, should you ever need to report a burglary or file an insurance claim, a household inventory - a listing of your furniture and major personal belongings - could be a valuable document?
Consider Some Specifics of Home Security
Reducing the risk of break-ins is simply a matter of making your home less inviting to burglars than other homes in the neighborhood. It's up to you. Outside doors should be metal or solid hardwood, and at least 1 3/4 inches thick. Frames must be made of equally strong material, and each door must fit its frame securely. Remember, if it is placed in a weak door, even the most efficient lock will not keep out a determined burglar. A peephole or a wide-angle viewer in the door is safer for identifying visitors than a door chain. Sliding glass doors present a special problem because they are easy to open, but there are locks designed for them. A broomstick in the door channel can help, but don't depend on it for security. Deadbolt locks are best. Key locks are available for all types of windows. Double-hung windows can be secured simply by "pinning" the upper and lower frames together with a nail, which can be removed from the inside. For windows at street level, consider iron grates or grilles. For windows opening onto a fire escape, metal accordion gates can be installed on the inside. Make the Extra Effort.
Here are some "home security habits" to develop and practice:
A, Establish a routine to follow in making certain that doors and windows are locked and alarm systems are turned on.
B, Avoid giving information to unidentified telephone callers, or announcing your personal plans in want ads or public notices (such as giving your address when advertising items for sale). Notify police if you see suspicious strangers in your area.
C, Handle your keys carefully. Don't carry house keys on a key ring bearing your home address or leave house keys with your car in a commercial parking lot. Don't hide your keys in "secret" places outside your home - burglars usually know where to look.
D, Remember special vacation tips. This is a clear giveaway that the owners are not home. When going on vacation, leave blinds open in their usual position. Have mail and packages picked up, forwarded or held by the post office. Lower the sound of your telephone bell so it can't be heard outside. Arrange to have your lawn mowed or your walk shoveled. Stop newspaper deliveries. Ask a friend to pick up "throwaway" newspapers and circulars. Use automatic timers to turn lights on and off in your living room and bedrooms at appropriate times. Consider connecting a radio to a timer. Tell police and dependable neighbors when you plan to be away and join with your neighbors to keep a close watch on what's happening in your area - working closely with them is a good way to prevent crime.
..And Remember This. Confronting a thief in your home is frightening.
Follow this advice if you discover a burglar:
1, Run away if you can and call police.2, Lock yourself in a room if you can't escape.
3, Cooperate and stay as calm as possible should you find yourself face-to-face with a burglar.
About The Author
Ralph Winn has over 32 years of experience in the security industry. Throughout his career, he has developed cost effective security programs for numerous small, medium, large commercial and government properties and for many nationally known corporations. http://www.homesecuritystore.com
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