Though we don't keep a baseball bat under our bed like Laure does, we do worry about home security. We recently installed a motion detecting LED light in our once darkened stairway, are looking to install an additional keyless deadbolt into our front door, and we're planning to attend a 5-0 sponsored community event to discuss crime prevention in our occasionally sketchy neck of the hoods. We remember growing up in burbs and getting robbed a few times...until we got a German Shepard who had a fondness for stranger's back ends. Later, our parents got a home security system and motion detecting lights, and it's been quiet on the crime end since. How about you? What precautionary steps have you taken in regards to home security? And check out some tips after the jump to help make your home more secure...
The following is a checklist to assess your basic level of security. These are just some of the steps you can take to decrease the likelihood that your home will be targeted.
- Always confirm identification before letting sales or service people into your home.
- Avoid leaving large amounts of cash in your home.
- Refuse to give personal details to telephone surveyors.
- Mark your possessions for easy identification.
- Keep a list of all valuables, along with their serial numbers and pictures/videos (a hard copy and maybe an additional stored on a flash drive).
- Firearms are stored unloaded and locked in storage boxes and secured with trigger guard locks?
- Trim your trees and shrubs around your home for best visibility.
- Install lighting that illuminates dark areas around the house, garage or yard where someone could hide.
- Leave your front and back porch lights on at night, or use a motion detecting light that dims.
- Install additional motion-sensing lights installed around the house exterior in peripheral zones.
- Lock away ladders and tools out of sight.
- Make sure your exterior doors a minimum of 1 ¾" thick, and made of solid material to prevent easy forced entry.
- Secure all exterior doors with a deadbolt lock with a throw bolt at least 1" long, including the garage.
- Keep a spare keys with a trusted neighbor, not under a doormat or planter, etc.
- Secure door leading from the attached garage to the house with one made of solid wood or metal clad and protected with a quality lock or deadbolt.
- Avoid peepholes that allow easy surveillance from outside into your home.
- Keep windows securely locked at ground level.
- Install a locking mechanism for sliding glass doors.
- Lock all doors when away, even if for a few minutes.
- Keep two lights with set timers to come on after dark, and turn off in a logical sequence.
- Put a radio or television on timer to mimic someone being home.
- Suspend newspaper and mail deliveries while you are away.
- Leave a house key and a contact telephone number with someone you trust.
- Arrange to have someone pick up mail and circulars on a regular basis.
- Make sure your garden/lawn are maintained while you're away.
[Information and graphic courtesy of Owatonna Police Dept.]