By Ben E. Miller
When it comes to home security, you can never be too safe. While installing wireless motion sensors and door alarms will go a long way towards warding burglars off, there are a lot of other easy, inexpensive things you can do to protect yourself and your property.
1. Think like a burglar. Walk around your home and try to identify places where a break-in could occur. Make a list of them, then concentrate on securing them using locks, sensors, alarms or other deterrents.
2. Cover vulnerable windows with heavy drapes. This makes it impossible for a would-be robber to see inside your house, and burglars are very unlikely to break into a house that they can’t see into beforehand.
3. Add a second layer of protection to windows. Window bars, for example, are nearly impossible to get past and can enhance, rather than detract from, the appearance of your home.
4. If you have sliding glass patio doors, reinforce them using metal rods or lengths of plywood. Often, thieves will gain entry to a home by slicing through the screening of a glass door and unlatching the lock or lifting the door off its track. If you have a metal or wooden reinforcement in the door tracking, it will be impossible for the thief to open the door from the outside or lift it off its track.
5. Keep your shrubs trimmed. Tall or unkempt shrubs actually serve as hiding places for thieves, giving them cover during the minute or two they need to break in through a door or window.
6. Use low-voltage perimeter lighting to provide a cost-effective means of deterring thieves from prowling around your house in the first place. Thieves thrive under cover of darkness; taking this away from them greatly decreases the chances of your home being broken into.
7. Never, ever indicate on your cell phone or home phone’s voicemail system that you’re going to be out of town. Instead, just leave a generic message – anyone who needs to know you’re away already will.
8. Keep your security systems enabled even when you’re at home. Some people make the mistake of turning the system off when they’re home, leaving them defenseless in the event of a break-in.
9. Use multiple layers to secure doors. In addition to locks, add deadbolts and chains. This will make it nearly impossible for an intruder to force his way inside your home.
10. Repair broken locks immediately. If your keys ever go missing, replace all your locks right away. You never know whose hands lost keys might find their way into.
Break-ins can happen to anyone at any time. Being proactive about home protection will increase your chances of avoiding thieves and remaining safe at all times.