Whether you've been away on a long, relaxing trip or just come home from hard day's work, it's not fun to discover your house has been burglarized. Per our local police, preventing this from happening can be a matter of taking a few simple, common sense precautions...
- Always set the alarm and lock the door. If you have a burglar alarm, always set it, even if you're running out for a few minutes. The same goes for locking the door.
- Don't post detailed alarm signs: a sophisticated burglar has all the information he needs to disable the alarm. Better a generic sign.
- Don't hide your valuables in the bedroom. Whether it's the underwear drawer, under the mattress or at the top of the closet, these are the first places a robber will look. Better to keep valuables in a safe-deposit box. Hide anything you must keep in the house in odd places - mixed in with the food in the freezer or in fake cans. And don't put everything in one place.
- Don't rely on a big dog for protection. Unless they're trained as guard dogs, you're better off with a small dog that makes a lot of noise.
- Don't hide windows with landscaping. It just hides burglars who try to jimmy windows.
- Install gates on ground floor windows. They're more than just decorative, they're a deterrent.
- Put your lights on timers: Set them to turn on and off at intervals.
- Don't have your newspaper and mail delivery stopped: Better to have your mail and newspapers picked up by a trustworthy friend or neighbor.
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[Photo by Gregory Han]