No. 5: ‘Think like a criminal: 4 steps to securing your home’by Tim Manni
Number five on our Top 10 most popular articles of 2011 is, “Think like a criminal: 4 steps to securing your home.”
Publish date: June 20, 2011
Written by: Gina Pogol
When you view a prospective home to buy, its security should be a top consideration. You will not care as much about your home’s lovely view if your beautiful picture windows get shattered in a break-in. It will be nearly impossible to rest easy in a spectacular master suite after some creep gets away with all of your jewelry.
But what exactly should you look for when evaluating a home’s potential security?
Step 1: Securing the perimeter
Insurance writer and former agent Ryan Hurlbert says, “Burglars look for easy access that is not visible from the street or the neighbor’s place. Tall hedges, long driveways, etc., all contribute to hidden access. A lack of exterior lighting makes life easy for a thief as well. Upstairs windows are seldom locked, so houses with two stories and easy access to the second floor windows (dormers, for example) are targets.”
Step 2: Securing the home’s existing features
Outside electrical or fuse boxes should be secured with strong locks, unless you want intruders to be able to cut your lights and possibly your alarm and phone systems. Likewise, window-mounted air conditioners should not be fastened on the outside, where they can be easily removed by burglars seeking access, they should be bolted in place from the inside.
Step 3: Invest beyond the basics: Home security systems
Your most basic home security system is the locks on your doors and windows. James Hopkins of WHF Security and author of Uninviting Burglars – Making Your Home Less Attractive to Burglars recommends that you change these locks when you move into a new home.
Step 4: Go old school, join the neighborhood watch
Hopkins has a home-shopping tip that can help you in two ways. “As you drive through the neighborhood, look for blockwatch signs. Not only is membership in a blockwatch a great way to meet your new neighbors, but you’ll have many eyes looking out for potential problems,” he says.
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