Some of the most effective methods used to provide home security cost very little money. Half of all burglars enter with little or no force. If it takes more than a few minutes to pry something open, most burglars give up. Locking up securely pays off. Most burglaries occur during the hours most of you are at work. (Between 10 and 3 pm). Most entries are made through UNLOCKED doors and windows. Common entry points are; garage doors, back doors and windows (places not easily seem by neighbors or passers by).
Most burglars head straight for your master bed room (where most of you keep your valuables). They are looking for things they can carry out and “fence” or hawk easily.
The typical house burglar is a male teenager who lives within one or two miles from your house. Most burglars are crimes of opportunity. We can decrease those opportunities. Install locks on sliding glass doors. Keep your tools out of sight. Someone may steal them AFTER they use them to break into your home. Put secure metal screens on basement, and similar windows. Security glass or break resistant plastic is used, as well as non removable security bars.
Study the hardware on your doors. How easy is it to remove? Are the strike plates of good quality? Are your doors themselves solid core or at least 1 3/4 thick? Secure your doors with dead bolts. Secure your windows with window pegs. Garage doors and windows should meet the same standards. Keep the door between the house and the garage locked. If you secure your garage with a padlock and a hasp, be sure the hasp is sturdy.
Put motion sensor lights on the BACK door. The front door security light is good; the back door is more realistic. Motion sensory are great in other locations, such as garage door and accessible windows .Exterior lights with timers that automatically turn on at dusk and off at a preset hour also help. It is good to have outdoor lights made of unbreakable plastic or covered with a mesh. Fencing, trees and shrubbery that conceal windows and doors from neighbors from the public view can provide an opportunistic place to hide or access to a second story window. Security shrubs with thorns and stickers made a nice deterrent.
When lights and sounds come from your house most intruders assume someone is at home. When you go out, leave some exterior and interior lights on. You can get a timer to turn the lights on and off at certain hours if your going to be gone long. Leave the radio on when you are gone to work. Leave window drapes and curtains in normal positions. Do not leave valuables in sight. Store them in a secret place, like behind a false wall.
Ask someone to pick up your mail and your newspaper. Arrange to have the upkeep on your yard continued. If you have two cars, leave one in the drive way.
Don’t carry identification tags with your name and address on your car ring. Don’t hide your keys in obvious places. Be more creative than hiding them under the matt or under the flower pot. Never leave your keys in the ignition. Have the locks redone if you loose your keys or move into a new house. Keep your car keys and house keys separate.
Dogs cause a burglar to rethink stealing from you. Most burglars would rather challenge electric alarm systems than dogs. A dog should not be your only security. Some dogs attack without cause and some are worthless as watchdogs. Some bark nonstop and arouse nothing except complaining neighbors. Know your pets. If your dog does attack someone, you, the owner, will be held liable. The pet door you install may compromise your security efforts. A child may slip through to let an adult enter your home. Be sure you can lock your doggie door. Putting signs up to warn people of a dog may not work if there is no dog.
Despite all of this, canine friends are the best supplement to other crime prevention measures. Consider alarms and security systems. One of the best things you can do for any neighborhood is to have people who know each other and look out for one another. The very first person to spot a burglar is usually a neighbor. Neighborhood groups and neighborhood organizations are powerful.
This is a public educational piece sponsored by Toastmasters International on behalf of our community service organizations and the citizens they serve. Information has been submitted by Rebecca Kimble Area Gov. Toastmasters International