Given the recent wave of home invasions and break-ins following are the simple and affordable tips to help keep their families safe and secure:
Alarm Systems : During a majority of break-ins, burglars gain access to the home through unlocked doors or windows. In addition, many homeowners forget to set their security system. While making sure to lock the doors and set the alarm are the foremost priority in securing any home, homeowners do have other precautions they can take. Alarm systems should be connected directly to the alarm company’s central monitoring station, which can alert law enforcement if the alarm is triggered.
Installing a back-up cellular dialer in case a burglar cuts the power or the standard phone lines enables the system to still contact the monitoring station. Alarm systems which incorporate motion sensors and/or glass break sensors can help first responders and residents know if an intruder has actually gained access to the premise. Displaying the signage provided by the alarm company serves as an initial deterrent for thieves. Making sure the alarm system’s central panel is located in a locked cabinet or an indoor utility room prevents would-be invaders from tampering with the system.read more here
Lighting: Sufficient lighting, both internal and external, can help deter thieves from even targeting a home. Burglars typically select a poorly lit home, as darkness affords additional cover from watchful neighbors or passers-by. Motion detection lighting alone only activates once a thief’s movement is detected; installing low-wattage dusk-till-dawn light fixtures, which emit a soft glow around the perimeter of the home all night, insures that thieves cannot conceal themselves in the shadows. The addition of sensors that shut off the lights when the sun rises and energy saving fluorescent or sodium-type light bulbs makes this an affordable and effective light deterrent.
Using basic timers for interior lamps set to alternating times, gives the appearance of movement throughout the house while it is unattended.
Doors and Windows : With some very simple window and door locking systems, homeowners can drastically restrict the accessibility of their home. With recent advances in locking mechanisms, some additional alternatives are also available to today’s homeowner. Installing window locks on all ground floor windows prevents the window from being opened far enough for someone to fit through. The addition of a simple closet rod to the track of sliding glass doors provides reinforcement to the standard lock.
Biometric locks , which provide access by scanning a finger print, have become much more affordable lately and can prevent lost or stolen keys from being used by burglars.
Windows – The glass in windows and doors can very often be a point of weakness as well. Security window films are affordable, and can provide an extra layer of defense from thieves attempting to smash a window to gain access to the home. While a burglar may be able to muster enough force to eventually smash the window, the repeated attempts require a lot of attention-grabbing blows. Assuring the home has proper doors made from solid wood or metal, rather than a hollow-core style, along with 3.5 inch long steel screws to fasten the hinges to the door frame, will stand up to most breach attempts.
The ability to see the outside of an exterior door is also very important. If an abutting window cannot provide a view of the doorstep before opening it, a peep hold can easily be installed.
Landscaping: Believe it or not, appropriate landscaping can help deter intruders from accessing windows, while maintaining an aesthetic appeal. Keeping trees and bushes trimmed back from the house and windows helps diminish the likelihood of an intruder using the shrubs as cover. Tree limbs should also be trimmed, to prevent an intruder from using a tree to access a second story entry point. Planting low-growing sharp or thorny bushes such as holly, rose shrub, or barberry under windows, or adding gravel or landscape rock which makes for noisy footing, are also good ways to deter thieves from attempting to gain access to windows.
Secure the Garage: Garages are favorite targets for thieves, not only because they are often unoccupied, but because they often offer a direct and unlocked entry to the remainder of the home. A few simple countermeasures can help greatly deter an intruder’s ability to access the garage. Always keep the garage door closed; an empty garage or a missing vehicle can alert thieves that the home is unattended.
Change the factory set codes on the door’s remote control often, so thieves cannot open the door with a store bought remote. Adding motion and glass break sensors to all windows in the garage will also provide added warning of an attempted break-in.
Have an Escape Plan If someone in the household can break away and call for help, the home invaders will have lost their advantages privacy and time. To some, running away from your family in crisis would be almost unbearable. However, the alternative might mean being tied-up or o violently incapacitated and left to watch in horror as your family is injured or worse. If you have a plan for escaping, make sure you include where to run and what to say. Sometimes a radical escape measure pays off, in life and death circumstances.
Thugs will sometimes threaten harm to children to get adults to comply with their demands. But at the same time, children are often overlooked as potential rescuers and are usually not well guarded. If the opportunity presents itself, a trained child can dial 911, activate an alarm panic button, or escape to the neighbor’s house to summon the police.