Home Security Evaluation Checklist: How Protected Is Your Home?

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No matter where you live or what economic times are like, burglaries occur every day. In order to make life harder for burglars, you have to think like a burglar, understand things that cause a burglar to choose one target over another, and do what you can to reduce an intruder's opportunities for getting inside your home. With the weather getting warmer, you can expect burglaries to increase, so now is a good time to evaluate your home security and make improvements if necessary. Don't let lax home security make your house an easy target for a burglar. Take the following quiz to test the soundness of your home's security. 1. Do you lock all windows in your home whenever you're away, including upper-story windows? 2. Do you put your ladder away and lock it up whenever it is not in use? 3. Do you lock your garage and any outbuildings or sheds every time you leave the house? 4. Is your house number clearly legible from the street so that emergency responders can find your house easily? 5. Do you have—and consistently use—deadbolt locks on all exterior doors? 6. Do you leave lights and sounds (radio) on while you're away to make your house appear occupied? 7. Are shrubs and other vegetation cut back so as not to conceal entrances, and ground-floor and basement windows? 8. Do you have exterior lights at the front and back of your home that clearly illuminate your home's immediate surroundings at night? (Give yourself a bonus point if you have motion sensor floodlights installed around the exterior of your home.) 9. Are exterior doors made of solid wood or metal-wrapped wood core, with hinges and strike plates mounted using three-inch or longer screws? 10. When you travel, do you have a trusted neighbor or friend collect mail, check on your home regularly, periodically park a car in your driveway and ensure that lawn care, etc., is carried out in your absence?   Award yourself one point for each time you answered "yes" to the questions above, and add them up. If you scored 5 or below, you really need to take some steps to improve your home's basic physical security and should do so as soon as possible. If you scored 5 to 7, you're on the right track, but there is room for improvement. If you scored in the 7 to 9 range, you're doing well, but you may be able to improve home security even more with simple measures. If you scored 9 or 10, you're doing a great job and should keep up the good work in helping protect your home from burglary.   Many homeowners improve home security even more by ensuring all physical security measures are everyday practice and by having a monitored home security system installed. With around-the-clock monitored home security, you add to the effectiveness of your other security measures and help minimize the chances that an intruder will target your home. The key to helping keep your home and family safe is taking a multi-layered approach to home security, which includes vigilance and consistent security habits, quality physical security measures and a home security system that is monitored 24/7/365.  
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