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Home Security Tips…From Homeowners Themselves

blog-default There are many places you can go online to get home security tips from ordinary people. While some of this advice can be questionable (at best), some of it can actually give you new ideas on helping keep your home safe from intrusion. Here are 10 tips found in various online discussion groups concerning home security.
1. Adopting a dog and getting to know neighbors can deter burglars. Neighbors who watch out for each other can help prevent break-ins and can help police track down intruders. With dogs, size is not necessarily an important factor. A small dog with a persistent loud bark will discourage many intruders. Just make certain that you have the time to devote to caring for a dog before you adopt one.
2. Before having a home security system installed, check with local law enforcement to find out criteria for verifying alarms before they dispatch an officer. Ensure your alarm system helps you meet those criteria. For example, if police require a system to be tripped both inside and outside the home before dispatching an officer, make sure your system has both interior and exterior sensors.
3. Install a peep hole in your door and make sure it's installed at a height that can be used by all household members who are regularly home alone.
4. Get into the habit of locking doors when you enter your home. After you do this consistently for a few weeks, it will become second nature, like buckling your seatbelt in the car.
5. Put a piece of steel rebar into one of the cutouts in the roller track of your garage door to prevent it from being opened.
6. Check the screws holding your door hinges and strike plates in place. At least one 3-inch screw per hinge going into the door frame, and 3-inch screws attaching your strike plate to the door frame will make your door much harder to kick down. A great deadbolt doesn't help much when the door itself is easy to overcome.
7. If you have a garage, park your car in it consistently, lock the car and lock the garage. That way, when you're gone, the lack of a car in the driveway isn't unusual and won't tip off criminals that nobody's home.
8. If you’re a female who lives alone, go to a thrift store and obtain a very large pair of worn work boots to set outside the door to make it look as if one of the home's residents is a large man.
9. Maintain your landscaping, mowing and snow removal when you're away, and have a neighbor roll your trash container to the curb on trash pickup day.
10. If you are suddenly seeing box trucks or U-Haul trailers in your neighborhood, talk to neighbors to ascertain if anyone knows why they're around (because there may, after all, be legitimate reasons for their presence), and if nobody knows why, notify local police. If there have been recent break-ins, police may find this information very valuable.
With regard to the last two tips, get neighbor recommendations for mowing or snow removal services before hiring anyone, and be wary of people going door to door advertising mowing or construction contracting services. This is a fairly common way for criminals to case neighborhoods and gain trust that allows them access to people's valuables.