Tag: Home Security Checklist

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.


Tips to Burglar Proof Your Home

tips to burglar proof your homeMany people are traveling at all times of the year, especially in the holiday periods. Burglars know this and they are ready to take advantage of your empty home. We thought that it would be good to cover a number of tips to burglar proof your home. Avoid the frustration and invasion of privacy by following these tips. If you know of others that would benefit our readers, let us know and we will be happy to add them to the post. We have a number of other posts on this site that discuss issues around home security as well.

Tips to Burglar Proof Your Home

Make your home look like it is lived in – If you are going away, your home should still look as if someone is living in it. This can mean lights on timers, pool running in the summer, neighbors parking a car in the driveway etc.

Regular checks by Family or neighbors – may not stop them but it will let anyone know who is casing the home that people are watching.

Clear mail every day – or have someone do it for you. Newspapers and mail building up in the mail box is a sure sign of a vacant home

Maintain landscaping – whether it is uncut grass or an untidy looking yard, this can be another sign that no one is home.

Hi Tech Monitoring – alarms that go off if someone does break in are good to have. So are doorbells that trigger a call to your cell phone when someone tries the doorbell. Another is an alert whenever motion is detected in or around the house with a voice response. You may get some false alarms from local animals that roam the yard at night.

If you have added ideas, let us know, we would be glad to include them.


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 that have come on 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 , he 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 and have emails 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.


Burglar Deterrent Fencing

Home Security ChecklistThere is a huge variety of fencing to choose from and let’s face it most people select a fence based on the way it will look around your yard and not for security.  Cost is also a big factor since the cost of the materials as well as labor has gone up in recent years. Security that fencing is usually pretty far down the list. This particular fence will not stop thieves, but will make it uncomfortable to climb over. Most are looking for an easy score, so the more difficult you make it for them the less likely they will pick your place.

However anything that makes it difficult for a would be burglar to gain access to your property is a deterrent and if he goes elsewhere because of the fence then it has done it’s job.

Fences that are difficult to jump over because they are high or have spikes at the top are often better than short fences. Let’s face it if someone really wants to get into your yard over your fence, there are multiple ways to do that. Still most burglars are really opportunists and will choose a fence that is easy to get through or over vs. one that is difficult. They will also try the gate first and if they can get in that way vs. going over the fence they will. See our comments about gates later in this post.

This is one of the biggest deterrents you can have as part of your overall security program for your home. When building a fence that looks good, also build a burglar deterrent fence that will persuade burglars to go else where. You can achieve both pretty easily and without spending a fortune as well.

Low Fencing as Burglar Deterrent Fencing

The picture on the left is an example of a low fence that as you can see would be relatively easy to jump over and gain access to your yard. It might keep dogs out and small children, but will not keep anyone out who really wants to get in.

In fact it is pretty easy. This fence looks nice and might create the right decorative atmosphere that you are looking for, but will not deter burglars. It is a basic residential fence that you see around many back yards in homes all across North America.

High Fencing as a Burglar Deterrent

High fencing on the other hand is much more difficult to get over. It has standard five foot boards with a one foot lattice on the top. This makes it at least 6 feet above the ground.

Can someone pull themselves over the fence? Yes they can but it is much more difficult compared to the first picture we showed you.

The next step of course is to install a spike at the top to add another level of difficulty.

Gates need to be locked and latched and not easy to open for a burglar. There is no to spend money money on a high fence if you make it easy to open the gate. Pull though chords are helpful to you and the burglar. Make your gate so that they cannot get through the gate unless you leave it unlocked!

Of course this is our last point. If you are supposed to keep your gate locked all of the time,  make it part of your evening routine. Make sure gate is properly closed and securely locked. Do this before you retire for the evening or leave for the day or go on a trip.

Stay safe, comments welcome


Burglar Deterrent Plants

Burglar deterrent plants should be part of your crime prevention strategy. As part of our property management series we decided to write a few posts about burglar deterrents. This one is about what you can do with plants to deter burglars and importantly what you should not do with plants when you are thinking about burglars. Anyone looking for a home to break into is going to look for the easy score and stay away from anything that looks difficult. If someone wants to get in or has an objective in mind, regardless of what you do they will break in. Plants will deter the criminals who are looking for an easy way in.

There are lots of other things that consumers should focus on as well when it comes to making your home unattractive to burglars. Everything from placing signs about attack dogs, to burglar alarm signs, to actual burglar alarms and many other things can be done. All of them are designed with the thought of deterring burglars from selecting your home as a potential place to break into. However this post will focus on the role that plans around the outside of your home can play in this regard.

Burglar Deterrent Plants – What not To Do

Most people know that they should not place shrubs that provide hiding places for burglars while they are breaking into your home. These include shrubs that hide the front door from the street or the neighbors as well as shrubs around windows that are easily opened for entry into your home. Think about it. On a dark night, with little lighting around your home, the perfect conditions only get better if there is a shrub or bush to hide the burglar while he quietly breaks into your home.
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Home Sitting Services you Should Look For

Home Sitting ServicesIf you are leaving your home vacant for any reason make sure someone will look after it. If you  have decided to hire someone to look after your home while you are away there are precautions you should take to ensure your home is secure. Here is a list of things that you should be looking for them to do. This list applies to your neighbor, one of your relatives, a close friend as well as a professional home sitting service that you might hire. It is to ensure that there are mo miscommunications and that the insurance companies requirements are looked after.

Home Sitting Services – Checklist

Whether you are leaving for the weekend or all winter, the last thing you want to be concerned about is your homes security while you are away.

  • A report after every visit by email, which is very reassuring to many couples vacationing in foreign countries or living at another location while your home is being sold. The status should be provided along with whatever services should be included.
  • Pick up your mail and forward it if needed. This includes mail in your mail box at your home as well as at the post office or one of the neighbor hood post office boxes that are available in some communities. It should also include all of the junk mail that is delivered to our homes and if not removed leaves that not lived in look if not picked up
  • Check on the security of your home, including alarms, windows and doors.
  • Check that there are no water leaks and that the furnace is working properly in the winter time heating your home.
  • Water your plants.
  • Look after the lawn in the summer including cutting your lawn and watering if needed.
  • Monitor subcontractors, such as driveway snow clearing in the winter or lawn cutting services.
  • Miscellaneous services such as
  • pool care,
  • walking the dog or
  • feeding the cat.

Insurance Companies

Many insurance companies require someone to visit your home every 48 to 72 hours, while some are comfortable with a visit once a week. Most want the water shut off so that if there is a leak during a vacancy the water damage will be limited.

As an alternative to relying on friends or family, a professional home sitting service is one way to make sure that everything you need is done to keep your home secure and deal with any emergencies. Look for the following service list if you are hiring a company to look after your home.

  • Home visits on a schedule you choose
  • Reports by email after every visit
  • Fulfill your insurance requirements
  • Reasonable rates – less than you expected
  • Choose only the services you need
  • Short or long-term arrangements
  • Vacation, Business Trip, Relocating

Who Should You Hire

Another issue is who can you trust. Most family members are trust worthy and if you know your neighbors well enough you can usually count on them to help you out for short-term vacations. A long-term vacation is a different thing and may impose on your friends and neighbors more than you want to.  Unless you can return the favor, you might want to consider a professional who is in the business.

Regardless of who you use, it is a good idea to remove anything of value. Jewelry and other valuable items should be removed so that there is no temptation.  Also take pictures or a video of your home for insurance purposes and a record of your home’s valuable items. This is good protection for you for a number of reasons:

  • Provides a record of your belongings
  • Insurance claims need documentation of what you have
  • Helps you recall all of the miscellaneous items that you have in your home which are very difficult to remember in times of stress
  • Protection in terms of anyone coming into your home and removing items of value, you have a record

Comments are welcome about your experiences when you are away and using the services of a home sitter. For more info on burglar deterrents and property management / home security, click here.

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Home Insurance While You are Away

Home Insurance While You are AwayMost people leave on vacation and really do not give a seconds thought about home insurance. While they are away or  coverage for their home all kinds of things can occur. If you are only leaving for a week, you are probably ok. However for anything longer than one week, you should really check with your insurance company re home insurance while you are away. Find out what they need you to do to maintain your insurance coverage on your home.

Some insurance companies will not cover homes that have been left vacant for specified lengths of time. They want someone checking on them to make sure that the furnace is working. They want to make sure that there are no water leaks or other damage. Refusing to cover a claim could be catastrophic. If you do have a claim, you will be happy that you made the effort to check with them first and followed their instructions.

Homes become vacant for many reasons. Here are a few:

  • Vacation – short
  • Extended vacation
  • Transfer to somewhere else
  • Fire damage
  • New home construction

In many cases someone who is being transferred to another city or country for a temporary period may decide to leave their home vacant or try to sell their home while they work elsewhere. People who go on vacation may leave their home and do not have anyone check on it, or just have the neighbors keep an eye on it while they are away.

Do You have Home Insurance While You are Away

Your existing home  insurance company MAY OR MAY NOT be willing to continue to provide home insurance or may refuse a claim if you have not had someone monitoring it while the home is vacant. Many of the mainstream home insurance companies will not provide home insurance for a home that is left vacant or even rented to a tenant.

Check With your Home Insurance Company

Before you make any decisions regarding your home, check with your insurance company first to confirm they will continue to provide insurance cover. Either way you need to have your building insured for liability and also damaged from some of the basic perils that may occur. You should also appreciate that limited cover is available for your building so you should take this into account if you are doing any financial planning.

Home Insurance companies may require someone to actually go into the home once a day during the winter to ensure that the heat is still on and that there is no break in the water lines. Some insurance companies will continue to cover a home with a once per week check if the water is turned off and drained from all of the interior pipes.

Example Of Insurance Claim While You are Away

A friend of ours was off in Florida for the winter when a pipe broke in his home due to an electrical malfunction. The furnace stopped working and the pipes froze. Water gushed out everywhere causing $90,000 in damages to his home. He had to have all of the floors redone and much of the house repainted. Fortunately for him his son was going into the home on a biweekly basis and found the water break. Even an hour of water running can cause a lot of damage! The insurance company covered him in this case, however he had to prove that his son was actually checking the house on a biweekly basis. Can you afford a $90,000 claim if your insurance company does not cover the damage.

Mortgage companies for instance require a minimum level of insurance associated with any mortgage they may make available to you. With a bit of help you will be able to find several quotes for your unoccupied building. Customers should also confirm what kind of security or how often the property needs to be visited to maintain your insurance.

When you do arrange for someone to check on your home make sure they can be counted on to actually go in and check. They really should keep a record of when they go in and confirm that the furnace is working etc. this suggestion is just to be on the safe side as far as claims are concerned.

Comments are welcome about having home insurance coverage while you are on vacation! For more information on vacant home insurance, click here.

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Weekend House Watchers

Weekend House WatchersMost people do not worry too much about their homes when they go away for the weekend. What about for the week or even for longer periods? They may tell the neighbors and family. However unless there is something unusual going on , no one will check the home while they are away. For the vast majority of people this is fine as long as your home is secure. It also assumes that you have followed some or all of the home security checklists we have discussed in earlier posts. Most homes are never broken into. The furnace works all of the time during the winter and there never is a water leak.

But it just takes that one time for a water line to break and you end up with thousands of dollars in damage. Then what do you do if the insurance company will not pay? Because you did not have anyone checking on the house.

What Steps Should You Take When Leaving a Home Vacant

Consumers should always check with their insurance companies before they leave to make sure that their home is still covered even while you are away from home. Some companies will demand that a person visits every 24 hours especially in the winter time when the furnace is running. Frozen pipes that burst can cause a lot of damage. Other companies are more lenient as long as the water is shut off and will only need someone to check on the home once a week. They are all different in their requirements so call them to find out what you need to do to make sure you are covered for all damages while you are away.

There are one or two exceptions that we can think of when you may want to make arrangements for someone to check on the house and / or visit your home while you are away even if it is just for the weekend.

Weekend House Watchers – What to Do With Pets

The first issue would be if you have pets. Cats can usually look after themselves for the weekend, especially if you put out extra cat food and water. Cats are known for not over eating and can survive quite well on their own for several days with no problem. If you have an older cat that needs medicine, then you may want to make arrangements for someone to visit and provide what ever is needed.

Dogs on the other hand need almost constant attention. They need to be walked and fed and given a chance to empty their bowels etc, otherwise you are probably looking at a huge mess when you get home, not to mention a very hungry dog. They will tend to eat everything in front of them at one time. Weekend house sitters and dog walkers can help most people in this situation by taking your dog for a walk several times a day as needed.

Snow Clearing

People in northern climates may also need to have snow cleared in the winter time and people with pools may have to have someone look after their pool in the summer time. Most neighbors will gladly do this for you for a free swim in the pool and a return favor some time. All of these activities will make the home looked lived in and as if someone is home.

Even with a weekend house sitter or a neighbor looking after your home, you should still have lights on timers so that there is no perceived change in schedule. If you use electric timers for lights while you are away, it will be hard to tell if you are home or not. Weekend house watchers can also water plants, check for water leaks, make sure that the heat is on and collect any newspapers that might be laying on the front step.

Why take the chance and leave your home unchecked. After all your insurance could end up being invalid and a claim rejected all because you were going to save a few dollars. Your home and your contents are worth far more than what you would pay for someone to house sit your home or to check your home on a schedule that you have set up that satisfies the insurance company.

If you have thoughts on this subject or wish to leave a comment, please do so.


Electric Timers for Lights while Away

electric timer for turning on lights in your homeThe golden rule for using electric timers  for lights while you are away on vacation is to make the house look like someone is at home at night. For example if you always turn on the hall light at night and leave it on all night. It should be on a timer with the same cycle. If you always turn on the family room lights at night the same thing applies. However if you never turn on the outdoor lights at night and suddenly they are on all of the time or on a timer, anyone who is monitoring your home is going to know that you are away.

It is as simple as that in terms of when to use timers. Also were to use electric timers for lights while you are away on vacation. Having an alarm system and locking all of your windows and doors is important as well, however in this post we will only talk about timers for lights. We have included additional posts about security for your home at all times as well as when you are away from home.

Electric Timers for Lights

Follow the Same Pattern

When we leave, our lights follow the same pattern whether we are at home Home Securityor not. Our outdoor lights are on light-sensitive diodes, which means as soon as it gets dark they automatically come on and stay on until dawn. Sometimes they are on during the day as well if it is a particularly cloudy day with dark clouds. I do not need to check them after a power failure, since there is no electric timer involved. They really work well for me and they even have light-sensitive diodes that work with fluorescent lights as well so it does not cost me a lot of money to have them on.

Indoors, I use the standard mechanical electric timer to turn on and off my lights. I use the mechanical ones since they will work with the fluorescent lights and I save money again with these lights. There is probably an electric timer available now that is electronic that is also compatible with fluorescent lights, however I have not purchased any since I already have enough electric timers.

Morning and Evening

We always leave the hall light on at night so there is an electric timer on this light. Same with the family room and the kitchen.  I also have one in each of the bedrooms that were used so that it looks like someone is home. We typically go to bed around eleven so the lights stay on in the family room and kitchen until 10 or 10:30pm then go off and the bedroom lights come on at that time until around eleven pm.

The reverse is true in the morning. On in the bedrooms first , then downstairs and then off around the time we go to work. In the summer, the morning is not so important since there is a lot more hours of daylight. However in the winter time, we have the timers turning on our electric lights in the morning as well since it is usually dark when we get up.

That’s about it from the point of view of using electric timers for turning on our lights while we are away on vacation or on business. Comments are welcome,


Burglar Deterrent Tips

Burglar Deterrent TipsPart of property management in our opinion is helping homeowners and consumers avoid being robed. Or at least decrease the chance that you will be robbed. In the previous post we touched on burglar deterrent signs. This post is going to focus on a number of tips that consumers and homeowners can apply to their situation to help avoid break-ins and robberies. There are no guarantees, however why not decrease your chances of being robbed. Why would you not take advantage of these opportunities and protect yourself?

Burglar Deterrent Tips

Many people do not give home invasion or burglary a seconds thought. Until they experience  it or perhaps a family member or close neighbor.  They they start looking for information about how to prevent burglaries. They realize that there are things they could have done to decreases the chances of someone breaking into their home. Why not start now to decrease the probability by following these burglar deterrent tips.

There are many things you can do yourself which will help to prevent burglaries. While installing more complex alarm systems may need an expert to complete the installation.  The first step is really an evaluation of your home from a burglars point of view. How they might enter your home or break in to your home.

Pretend you are breaking Into Your Home

Even though burglars have more experience at break-ins, put yourself in their shoes regarding how you would break into your home. If you can figure it out, then the burglars sure ca as well.  You may want to look at how you would do it quietly without making a lot of noise, however if haste is required, they will not worry about damaging your property.

There are also resources in your neighborhood that you can turn to for both ideas on how to improve the security as well as the steps you can take to improve security.

Tips to Help Avoid Burglars

Here is a list of tips that may help you in deciding what things you can do to make your home more burglar deterrent.

Secure doors and windows and that means locking them when you are away. Two-thirds of all intruders enter by a door and a third by a window, so just having them closed and locked with a good lock goes a long way.

Refit locks if necessary on all doors and windows if you are in doubt at all.

Weak doors, glass windows are easy to break. Have them inspected and strengthened were necessary. All it took for a burglar to get into our neighbors house was a quick boot to the door to break the lock and they were in! Took less than 5 seconds!

Locks on doors should be the five-lever mortise deadlock variety, while patio doors should have special locking systems and/or anti-lift devices to prevent them being removed from their frames. At the very least place a solid bar to prevent the door from being slid open.

More Tips

Even if you are home, it pays to keep doors locked. Would you know if someone came in an open unlocked door if you are in another part of the house?

Automatic deadlocks that immediately lock the door securely from the inside when the door is closed and must be opened with a key.

Mortise bolts can be fitted at the top and bottom of the door for extra security.

A sturdy chain will prevent someone from pushing though and a door viewer is also handy to check out whoever is standing on the other side.

Store keys were you can find them in an emergency, but away from prying eyes.

Movement sensitive lighting, well lighted front doors and side doors will help to discourage many opportunistic burglars.
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Burglar Deterrent Signs

For consumers taking accountability for their own safety and that of their property, Burglar Deterrent Signs is one avenue to consider and falls within the realm of property management for residential consumers.

Placing Burglar Deterrent Signs in and around your home can be an inexpensive method of fending off some would be burglars. Let’s face it burglars are lazy and trying to make a living off of someone else and they are always going to take the easy road rather than have to deal with some level of difficulty. If the would be burglar is convinced that you have a rather loud sounding alarm installed in your home that is monitored, they might just move on to the next home and leave yours alone.

Even if you do not actually have an alarm system, it can be enough to make them think that you do have one. This is probably the most simple and least expensive way to protect your home. It will certainly keep out the opportunist but not the professional or someone who knows that you do not have an alarm system.

Burglar Deterrent Signs – Vicious Dog Signs

Vicious Dog Burglar Deterrent SignsMost burglars want to avoid anything that will draw attention to them while they are in your home. Even those that are professional will avoid situations that attract attention from the neighbors or passersby.  Whether you have a dog or not, whether he is big or small is going to make most opportunistic burglars think twice. No one wants to attract a large dog or cause a dog to begin barking. It will wake someone in the home up or attract attention from nosy neighbors who keep an eye on things like that. So if you have a sign advertising a vicious dog, most burglars are going to leave your house alone in favor of easier targets.

Burglar Deterrent Signs – Alarm System Signs

Most opportunistic burglars will bypass a house that is alarmed. Signs indicating that there are alarms tell the burglar that this house is probably alarmed and monitored and most will just  move on to easier pickings. This is driven mainly by the level of fear they have for the police and ending up in jail. For most it does not matter whether the home is alarmed or not. Just make them think it is and it will deter the vast majority of burglars from homes and apartments

Professionals who might have watched your home for a few days may also find out that the signs are just that. Especially viscous dog signs if they never hear a dog barking.

Burglar Deterrent Signs – Monitored Alarm  System Signs

Like the dog situation your opportunistic burglar is not going to take a chance. They know that possibly three things are going to happen which increases the stress level of breaking into your home.

Alarm System Burglar deterrent signsFirst the alarm is going to go off creating a lot of noise. This will warn the folks inside the home if any one is home. Second, if it is a monitored system, there may be cameras that can identify him or her. An armed response will be on the way. Third, some of the neighbors may  be alerted. They may come to investigate or at least take a look.

The professionals know that they have time to get in and out quickly. They will be inside your home for 5 minutes or less so this may not deter them. Most others will simply avoid your house and go into the neighbors. Why take the chance ?

Non Monitored Alarm Systems

The same applies to non monitored alarm systems. The only difference is that your intruder does not know that the system is not monitored. They will just move on. If they break in anyway, they will be gone inside of 5 minutes or less.

Were Should you Place Burglar Deterrent Signs

Many people don’t like to have signs since they feel that it takes away from the look of their home. There are small signs that if strategically placed will act as an excellent deterrent.

Think of the obvious locations were a burglar wouldWindow decals for Alarm systems and Burglar deterrents break into your home. Place small burglar deterrent signs at these locations. Front doors, side doors, windows that are  near the ground and perhaps hidden from site from the neighbors. These small decals should be obvious to anyone attempting a break. While at the same time not taking away from the decor of your home.

Comments and ideas are welcome relative to burglar deterrent signs that you can place on your home. Spam comments are auto deleted.


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

Someone 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 Home Burglar Deterrents 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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