Home Security

Secure Dresser to Wall

If you have young children, they are going to climb wherever they can. Dresser drawers are ideal for climbing. Just pull out the bottom drawer and start climbing. You know they are going to do it regardless of how many times you tell them not to. Secure dresser to wall using a variety of devices such as clamps, screws, chord,  etc. Just make sure that what happened in the picture in this post does not happen with your child underneath. While the dresser may not be that heavy, it can choke a child if it falls on his neck. Go and fix this right now if you have young children!

Secure dresser to Wall

There are various ways to do this. The better manufacturers will provide you with instructions and the screws and clips needed to complete the job. If you do not have screws etc, you will need to do this your self.

First locate the studs in the wall using a stud finder. Many people have them now so you should be able to borrow one from a neighbor, friend or family member. Next position the dresser in the location you want it to be and remove the top drawer. Screw large screws, at least 2 inches in length through the back of the dresser into the wall at the locations where you found the studs.

Another approach is to screw L brackets to the wall and also into the dresser. This takes a little more time, however if done properly is much stronger than just screws through the back of the dresser.

Another approach is to attach a strong chord to the wall at one of the stud locations. The other end can be attached to the dresser. Make sure it is securely attached and will not break or give way from the attachment device.


Things You Need to Know About Home Security

Home SecurityThe business of providing home security has changed a great deal in the last few years. With the introduction of electronic devices that can communicate using your Wi-Fi system within your home and the Internet. It is now much easier for security companies to provide security services. It is also easier for homeowners to monitor their own security systems. There are lots of new services and devices on the market. If you haven’t looked already you may want to look at the new devices that are available. There is also the opportunity to reduce your overall cost for making sure that your home is secure. We have listed five ways of improving your security or reducing your costs for security around your home.

Home Security – Don’t leave Blind Areas

But first will talk about the best one of all, which will cost you very little money while providing or increasing the security of your home. Trim shrubs that hide windows and doors to provide a clear view from inside the house as well as from the street. Secondly make sure that you have lights on all doors that are on at night or will turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn or will turn on based on the motion sensor sensing something near the door. In addition you want to have timers with lights inside your home that turn on and off at similar times to your normal everyday schedule when you are away.

Home Security – Technology

The first thing you should know about home security is that there are many new players in the market. From a technology perspective as well as providing security services. This may create opportunities for the homeowner to get new or better services at reduced prices. Instead of paying a thousand dollars a year for home security that is monitored. Homeowners may be able to have home security provided at much lower prices. Do a service by service comparison. Select the one that not only saves you money to provide you with the comfort and security of knowing that your home is being monitored while you’re away.

Whether your security system is monitored by a third-party company or not, someone needs to make a decision to call the police when an alarm is triggered at your home. Saving $15 a month to avoid having someone monitor your home may not be the best decision if no one will be available to monitor and call the police when you’re home was broken into.

Service is also very important. The service that you get is only as good as the local contractor who is providing the service on behalf of the alarm company. If something is not working properly then the dispatch must send a contractor out to repair it. Make sure that you check reviews and comments from other customers about any company that you decide to hire.

Unscheduled Entrances!

Finally if there is an unscheduled entrance to your home , the security company you hire will call the police and they will be dispatched. They should also call your designated contact to meet the police at your home. Your contact should not be asked to enter the home until they arrive. If it is a false alarm, the police may charge a fee for responding to the false alarm.

New technology on the market has now made it possible for homeowners to purchase their own cameras. Connect them to their WiFi. Emails are sent to them anytime there is motion detected in their home or anywhere the camera is pointed. This makes it possible for the homeowner to monitor their home from upstairs in their bedroom. Or thousands of miles away over the internet.

That’s it for the things that you need to know about home security and hiring companies that provide security services.


Rental Apartment Security

Rental Apartment SecurityAre you concerned about the security of your family and yourself in your rental apartment building? In this post we will discuss some of the issues you need to consider and think about as an owner as well as a renter in an apartment building. Everyone’s nightmare is that they move into an apartment building only to find that there is no or limited security. Anyone can get into the building and in fact some apartment dwellers don’t bother to check identities before they buzz some one in or the lock on the front door is broken.

Before we go much further lets just say that if someone really wants to get into your building, they will find a way in and it will not take them that long either. Even if there is a security guard or a concierge, it is relatively easy to get by them through distractions or just timing it when they are not looking or just being bold.

So how are you to protect your self when you are living in an apartment building. the answer is that it is all about probabilities and the more steps you take before you move in and even after will help to increase your overall security level!

Rental Apartment Security Checklist

We put together a simple check list of items to consider before you sign the lease to a one year contract for an apartment. Here we go in no particular order:

  • Front door does lock
  • Location is relatively safe
  • Double doors each with  locks
  • Video systems works so you can see who your buzzing in
  • Apartment  doors are solid and have good locks on them
  • Concierge  on duty 24 hours of the day
  • If no concierge on duty is there a security guard or on duty maintenance person
  • Elevators are key coded for additional security
  • Check police records for number of visits
  • A Well maintained place shows pride of ownership and security by owners
  • Alarm systems in apartment

While some of these things may seem at the high end, we all have to make compromises and decide what is right for the situation that we are in. While you may not want to pay for a high end apartment with a security guard and concierge, a place that is really well maintained shows pride of ownership and a clientele that takes care of the building and treats it like their own.

Interview The Rental Manager

Most of the time it is the rental manager interviewing tenants. They are trying to decide if you will be a good candidate for the building. This usually means that you will pay the rent on time and not bring additional people into the apartment other than what you indicated on the rental application. he may also check with previous managers were you have resided to get references.

While you certainly have to go through all of that, we suggest you turn the tables a bit and interview them as well. The objective is to assess whether it is a place you really want to live in. You are going to check out the apartment, the parking, and any facilities that may or not be offered with the apartment.

Extend the interview and ask questions that require more than yes or no answers. For example, how is the security in the building? Ask him to describe the steps they take to ensure that the building is secure. Make him sell you the building and describe its positive attributes.

Many superintendents may find this unusual. However it will also communicate to them that you are interested in a location that is safe. You will also help to keep it that way while you live there. A superintendent wants to have a well run building with no problems at all including bad tenants.

Other Issues

There are probably many other items that will help to make sure that you chose a secure building. If you feel that we missed some or just want to leave a comment, please do so. All constructive and helpful comments will be approved. We will even approve a link to your web site. Provide a well written comment that will be helpful to our readers.

For more ideas about keeping your place secure, click here.

 


Condo Building Security

Condo Building SecurityEveryone of us wants to feel secure in our home. It is a place were we do not need to be concerned about strangers and we do not need to worry about our possessions being stolen. We can retire to our home and relax after a day at work or traveling or what ever it is that we do. Many people take the security of their condo for granted. They feel that as long as their door is closed and locked, they will be secure. Actually there is a lot more that you can do as a condo owner. It starts when you decide to purchase any particular condo. Investigate the security that is provided by the condo, to make sure that it meets your personal security requirements.

The vast majority of condo’s employ a security system of some kind. Some are pretty simple and really will allow anyone to enter who has a little bit if ingenuity. Others are like fort Knox and cost a fortune to manage and control. They employ camera and audio systems, security guards around the clock at the gate and who also roam the property. This can be a high class security program which also costs a great deal of money.

With these two extremes in terms of security, how does one decide what level of security is right for you and appropriate for were you live?  We listed a few items to consider as part of your condo building selection process. They may not all apply to your situation, however take what applies to you and use as you wish.

Condo Building Security Criteria

  • Crime rate in the location were you will live
  • Crime rate of the building you are considering
  • Security program currently in place
  • Effectiveness of the security program
  • Cost of the security program
  • Condo boards attitude towards security
  • Audi and camera system in working order
  • Guest entry process
  • Apartment entry
  • Door dead bolt
  • Balcony door security

These are all issues that should be considered when you purchase a condo. The more security that you have, the more it will cost so take this into account. Sometimes you can apply over kill to a situation that does not need a high  level of security. You end up paying a great deal for something that is really not necessary.

Effectiveness of Building Security

In out city there is a building that is one of the most desired locations to live. Many people from high-profile positions in industry and government live there. This building has 24 hour manned security, audio and camera systems. In addition you must still be buzzed into the building even if security allows you onto the property. A very nice building that really does a good job of keeping the opportunists and the rift raft out of the building and from entering the  property.

Unfortunately, if someone really wants to get in they will do so. In this particular building someone wanted to get even with a judge who had ruled negatively against someone. They posed as a repairman, gained access to the property and then the building. All they did was knock on the door and gained entry to commit a rather serious crime.  This really shook up the building residents and the security system and procedures were reviewed and updated.

the point of this story is that you really need to guard against the opportunists and make it difficult for the average con man or thief to gain entry. This will deal with 99% of all possible crimes. The last 1% is almost impossible to deal with and will cost you a great deal of money as well.

Summary

Review the list of condo security items we listed and make your decision on the level of security you need to have as a unit owner and a building owner. Keep it in perspective and avoid spending too much money on security

For more ideas about keeping your place secure, click here.

 

 


Apartment Building Security

Apartment building security is one area that we wanted to discuss from the Property Management for residential homesrenter’s perspective. This is something that building management is responsible for. Your building’s reputation as a secure place to live will have a large impact on the rent you can charge for your apartment. Or how much you will pay if you are a renter and looking to rent an apartment or home. Security of the building as well as security of the neighborhood is one of the most important issues for many people.

Anytime you move into an apartment, one of the things that you should include in your list of criteria to consider is the security level of the building. Most people do not give this aspect a seconds thought when they are looking for an apartment. Instead they are more concerned about the rent they will pay and any utilities that are added to the overall cost. In addition, they probably look at parking and location relative to were they work and social activities. But not Security. And yet this can be one of the most important elements of your decision in today’s world.

Apartment Building Security – Why is it so important?

Security of your building is going to influence who is entering your building at all times of the day. Most people will buzz in their friends and avoid anyone that they do not know. But what if your buildings locks do not work well. What if the camera system is not working or the audio. How do you know who you are buzzing in?

If your main door locks are not secure, anyone can get into the building and sometimes people come in to spend the night in the stairwells. One location we rented as a snow bird had to have regular routine checks by the security staff of the stairwells, because homeless people were coming onto the property and trying to spend the night in the stairwell. You have to feel sorry for these people, but no one wants a smelly homeless person sleeping in the stairwell at night and roaming the halls.

Questions to Address

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you sign the lease to your new apartment:

  • Security system operation and working
  • Security checks
  • Neighborhood you live in
  • Homeless people near by
  • check with police regarding the record of the building
  • Security guard on duty at night
  • Dead bolts on apartment doors
  • Secure apartment doors
  • Secure sliding glass doors if you have a balcony
  • Management has a strong record of dealing with security issues

In addition to checking the security of the main entrance of the building for security issues, you should also check the security of the doors going into your apartment. does you main door have a solid dead bolt that cannot be kicked in. Is your door solid, preferably made of metal so that it cannot be easily broken.

In addition, if your apartment has a balcony, what is the security of the balcony door. Can it easily be pried off the track or can the lock be pried open. Can people move from other balconies onto your balcony? What steps will you have to take to make sure that no one can enter your apartment from the balcony? Admittedly if you are on a high floor you less to be concerned about unless your balcony is joined with another.  Balconies close to the ground sometimes can be reached easily are more susceptible to break ins.

So hopefully after reading this post readers who are looking for apartments will add this issue to their list of criteria about the apartments that they are looking at.  Your comments are welcome about this topic and others.

For more ideas about keeping your place secure, click here.

 


Home Burglar Deterrents

Home Burglar Deterrents – What do burglars look for when they are casing a home for illegal entry?

Home Burglar Deterrents  – If you have solid doors and windows that have been upgraded to make it difficult to break into by a burglar, chances are they will just move on and look for another home that is easier to break into! Burglars are looking for the easy score and will avoid difficult to enter places. Unless they specifically are aware of valuables that you may have they will just move on.

Check and Secure Your Doors

Selling Your HomeSomeone who wants to get into your home is going to come through the doors or the windows. It is going to be quick and efficient unless your door is solid and is dead bolted to a secure door frame. Our neighbors had their home broken into. All it took was a solid kick by the burglar to the door right at the lock location. The kick broken the  door jam and they were in with in 10 seconds. The door was then closed and no one knew the difference from outside. the moral of the story is

  • Install a solid steel door
  • Make sure your door has a solid lock on it
  • Make sure that the door jam is also made of solid material that cannot be easily broken
  • Install several locks on the door
  • Remember they may come in the front door, but they can easily come in side doors or the sliding glass door at the back of the home.

If you want to strengthen these doors you can also  install 2-1/2 to 3 inch stainless steel or nickel plated screws in all your exterior door jams. Be sure screws go at least 1-3/4 inch deep into the underlying framing lumber.

While you are  at it, consider getting heavy duty strike plates or a door reinforcement kit sold in many larger home improvement centers.

Home Burglar Deterrents


Sliding Glass Doors

Sliding glass doors are  a favorite target. All you need to do is lift the door  up and out and your burglar is inside your secure your sliding glass doorhome. No noise and no fuss. You can prevent this by

  • By installing several screws into the door’s upper track to allow just enough of the screw’s head protruding to allow free movement without allowing the door to be removed.
  • Several devices can be installed into the door’s upper or lower track that acts much like a dead bold by running a heavy pin through the door track and deep into the frame.
  • A length of old broom handle at a 45 degree angle in the door track also prevents the door from easily being forced open and works nearly as well!

Burglars Also Like Garage Doors

Electronic door openers make it very difficult for burglars to break in through your garage door. They cost around $150 and make it practically impossible to force open the overhead door from the outside without breaking through the actual door panels. Yes, it is possible for burglar to punch in the right code and gain access, unless you did not change the pre-installed settings.  Today’s remote controls have so many possible combinations, the odds are very slight, and the burglar won’t waste the time trying all the possibilities.

The key as we have mentioned is to  change the security code from the pre-installed settings which are almost always set to zeros.

Keep Windows Secure

Burglars will break windows as a last resort – or by accident. The preferred method is cutting an access hole or slipping in a thin stiff wire and undoing the locking device.

Most double hung windows have cheap locks which should be replaced. Use heavy duty sash locks or even keyed locks, if you can put up with the inconvenience. An old trick is installing a small eye bolt in either corner. If done correctly the window can’t be opened, with the eye bolt in place from the outside. Of course you could screw the window shut by drilling a hole through the frame. But it defeats the purpose of having a window, and presents a fire hazard. Not recommended.

Many people install roll-a-way electric security shutters, or decorative security grates. The main negative is they can prove to be a serious fire hazard and prevent your escape, especially if you lose power. Newer models install on tracks or can easily be pushed open from inside. This decreases their danger in the event of fire and the thick smoke sure to accompany it.

Inventory Your Home

The above steps can go a long way to protecting your home. But no matter how secure your residence is, if a professional burglar has targeted your home the unthinkable may still happen. To aid law enforcement agencies and greatly assist in insurance claims you should maintain a detailed household inventory of all your valuables.

It is impossible for you to recall all of the items you have in your home. The big things are easy, but do you know the model number of your electronic items. How about the year you bought them and the value of them. Probably not and this is were having a detailed  inventory can be a big help

Mark important items with some permanent identifying mark using a variety of simple tools. You can rent some of these that will engrave serial numbers. Engrave driver’s license number or some other unique marking into your valuables.

  • Detailed inventory
  • Mark items with an identifying mark
  • Video or picture inventory is helpful
  • Close up videos of important or valuable items
  • Tie them in with a family member in the picture
  • Update the tape or pictures each time you add items to your home
  • Keep the pictures or tape somewhere off site so they are available in case there is fire. Or your home is destroyed by a tornado or hurricane

Home Security – Burglar Deterrants

Burglar DeterrantsWe all worry about residential crime and break ins into our homes. Reports suggest they are increasing, however it really depends on the city you live in. Even where you live in the city and published reports for your city. Having had personal experience with a break in, we can also tell you that the police take reports and do little else. They know you will get your items replaced by your insurance, so why do anything. They also have more important crimes to deal with and cannot be bothered chasing some minor crooks who are burglarizing homes.

Visit the Pawn Shops

Our policeman, who visited our home, basically told us to visit the pawn shops to see if some of the family heirlooms had been pawned. If we find them, they will have to file a report and the police will pick them up, file another report and then we get the item back. They made it clear that they were not going to do very much investigation! Not even checking for finger prints.

Single family homes are twice as likely to be burglarized than apartments.The most likely things to be stolen in a burglary are items that can be disposed of quickly and are in demand. Items such as cash, small electronic equipment, home computers, cameras, jewelry, furs, tools and hand guns.

Burglar deterrents – Security of Your Home

Most people don’t worry too much about security other than the basics.  The things a burglar fears most are being seen by someone and having to taking too much time to complete the crime. They want to get in and out quickly!

Most of the time burglars will break into a home that is vacant, while people are at work or when they are on vacation.  If you happen to be home at the time, it can be a very stressful event. Make sure you have pepper pepper sprayspray at home within easy reach.  Best thing is get out or lock yourself into a room and call 911.  Many people, while they feel that their home is secure, do not really have any idea how secure their home is.

Survey Your Home for Security Week Points

One approach is to have a professional conduct a survey of your home. Local police sometimes will do this as a service to the community. They outdoor home key holdersmay also conduct workshops for the neighborhood so that you can do your own survey.

You can identify all potential trouble spots and determine what steps can be implemented to improve the overall security of your home. If you have a third party conduct one of these surveys for you, make sure you check their credentials and getoutdoor security camera references. Also recognize that most third party companies will try to sell you their products as well. Locksmiths will sell locks, alarm companies will sell alarm systems and so on. Common sense is in order here.

Imagine that you are the Burglar Planning a Break into Your Home

Begin outside and review how you would  break in? Sometimes it is a good idea to have a friend or neighbor to go with you and give their opinion as well. You can then do the same thing for them at their home.

Ask yourself how you would know when you are not at home? Lights are on a different schedule than normal, garbage has not been put out, driveway is not cleared of snow etc. These are all tell tale signs that the home is vacant.

Turn down the volume on phones before leaving so it can’t be heard from outside. Another dead giveaway nobody’s home, and never leave a message on your home indicating that you are away.

Burglar Deterrents that are Effective

Most burglars are looking for the easy score and the least risk situation. A dog barking, or signs of a dog will deter a lot of thieves from even trying. So will signs of an alarm system. Burglars are basically opportunists and are looking for an easy score that allows them to get in and out quickly. Anything that would delay them or attract attention such as a dog or an alarm will deter many burglars from attempting to break in. Even a sign indicating that there is an alarm system may scare security signsoff a few opportunists.

Experienced burglars may not be deterred by this type of deterrent, especially electronic barking dogs. They can tell the difference!

Outdoor lights that turn on based on motion sensors are another great idea. They must easily brighten the area and be also out of reach from someone who is standing beside them.

Every home is different and requires a different set of deterrents. In our next post about burglar deterrents we will add a burglar deterrent checklist or security checklist. You can use this list to check your homes security. Assess what changes you want to make your home more burglar proof.

For more home security articles, click here.

 

 

 

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