Thursday, December 9, 2010

10 Ways to Discourage Break-ins

During the Holiday season, many of us will be visiting family and friends. Please take a minute to read how you can make your place a little safer.

10. Don’t show your goods: Leaving certain things lying around your yard or in plain sight from the road can unwittingly lure thieves onto your property like frantic bargain hunters to a flea market. If you have a bicycle or scooter that someone could easy to walk away with, roll it inside or into your garage. Also, after purchasing a new plasma screen television or other pricey electronics or appliance, don't leave the box out beside the trash can or recycling bin
9. Tricking Burglars: If burglars can tell that someone is home, there's a greater chance that they won't attempt to break in. Remember, more break-ins occur during the day when many people are at work. For that reason, when you leave the house, create an illusion that someone's still there.
8. Secure Sliding Doors and Windows: You can easily break into some older sliding doors by simply popping them off of their frame, even when locked. It's harder to do that with newer ones, but you should still take extra precaution to secure them since they can be an inviting entry for burglars. Simply take a strong dowel, steel bar or two-by-four and slide it into the back groove.
7. Don't Leave a Spare Key Out: It may seem like a good idea to leave a spare key hidden under a flower pot or doormat in case you get locked out of your house. But that's an open invitation for a burglar to walk inside without any difficulty.
6. Secure Your Yard: Low shrubs in front of windows remove additional covering for thieves if they attempt to break in through one. Structural security, such as deadbolts and double-paned windows.
5. Get Police Help: If you're leaving town for a while, let the police know and request that they drive by your property to check on things. Many police stations also offer free security evaluations for your property/apartment.
4. Prepare Before Vacation: Alert neighbors you trust about your trip and ask that they keep an eye on your property during that time. When you leave town, don't leave signs of an empty house.
3. Know Your Neighbors: Closer-knit neighborhoods generally report fewer break-ins because strangers will stick out, and people are more likely to keep a casual eye on other people's security. If you rent a house or apartment, you have more incentive to get to know your community because renters are 85 percent more likely to experience a break-in.
2. Be on top of things: Educate yourself as well about crime in the area. Check the crime section in your local newspaper to see if your neighborhood has been hit recently. While it ¬may seem like a symptom of paranoia, keep your identity and any travel plans on the down low. Only put your street address on your mailbox. Give away your last name, and someone could find your phone number, work place and a host of other stats with a few mouse clicks.
1. Lock it Up: As mentioned earlier, more than 40 percent of break-ins happen without the use of force. That means a lot of people are leaving their houses without locking the doors and windows.