Home' The Great Southern Star : July 26th 2016 Contents PAGE 16 - “THE STAR” Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Peace of mind: a security system is one good way of monitoring and protecting your home
Security systems and
AS well as thinking about installing a
security system, take a good hard look
around your home as there are a few
simple, low or no cost measures which
will significantly deter a would be thief
from targeting your home.
Choose a coming weekend and go over these
steps which range from low effort, no cost chores
to more involved, pricier projects to improve
your home’s security.
1. Hold a household meeting.
Make home security a habit, with every mem-
ber of the household including children agreeing
to a routine that should include such simple rules
Use door and window locks. It costs nothing
and takes little energy. Make it a habit to lock ev-
ery door and window when leaving, after enter-
ing, and before bedtime.
Do not open the door to uninvited or unwel-
Close and lock the garage door.
Secure your home even if you’re doing work
around the house and yard.
Use your alarm system all the time, even when
you take a quick trip to the store or visit next-
door neighbours. (Learn about important alarm
2. Organise a burglary.
This is a fun, useful exercise to do with a trust-
ed neighbour or friend: Allow your neighbour to
roam through your house for three minutes, find
as many small valuables as possible, and remove
them from your house. Let the pretend burglar
demonstrate how easy it is to find valuables. Then
hide them from real burglars. That might mean
buying a small safe that bolts to the floor, renting
an off-premises safety deposit box, or stashing
jewellery and cash in unorthodox places. You can
return the favour for your neighbour.
3. Be smart with your keys. Remove the ‘hid-
den’ house key.
The key under the mat, inside the mailbox, be-
neath a rock—everybody hides a house key. The
problem is, burglars know your hiding places. In-
stead, give it to a trusted neighbour.
4. Place keys and garage door remotes in a
Don’t leave car and house keys and remotes
near the door or otherwise visible inside your
house. Secure them inside a cabinet or a drawer
to keep them hidden.
5. Add foreboding signs.
Post security company signs or window stick-
ers near all entry points whether you have a se-
curity system or not. Maybe you have signs or
stickers on hand from a previous contract with a
security firm, or maybe you can get some from a
friend. In addition, post a few “Beware of Dog”
signs in visible spots, say at the front of the house
or on a gate to the backyard.
6. Lock up the ladder.
Don’t store a ladder outside. A burglar, per-
haps posing as a handyman or contractor, could
use it to gain access to a second floor window or
7. Light up the outdoors.
If you don’t have them already, buy and install
outdoor lighting with infrared motion sensors and
install one near each point of entry. Replace any
burned-out lightbulbs and put your porch lights
8. Install timers.
When you leave for work or appointments or
go on vacation, you can create a “someone’s at
home” look using timers on lights and TVs.
9. Secure air conditioning units.
Unsecured window air conditioners could
provide an easy entry point for a crook. Use an
air conditioner bracket, sliding window lock, or
10. Eliminate hiding spots.
If your shrubbery is too tall, bushy, or not well
spaced, you’re providing a nice hiding spot for a
potential burglar. Trim and prune plantings.
11. Check windows.
Are the window locks operable? If not, get
them fixed or replace them. Also consider in-
stalling aftermarket window locks, which let you
open the window a few inches while still keeping
it secure. Another alternative is to use inexpen-
sive window break alarms.
12. Assess doors.
Okay, so you’re probably not going to be able
to install new doors by yourself over a weekend.
But you can inspect your front, side, and back
doors. Replace hollow (read: low quality and
easy to breach) doors with solid core (made of
wood or metal) or metal clad doors.
Sliding glass doors have a latch to close them
but are often an easy point of entry for burglars.
To make one more secure, place a wood dowel
cut to size or an adjustable safety bar in the inte-
rior floor track, or consider adding a floor bolt.
Electric garage doors are not a common point
of entry as long as they are closed. You can drive
down almost any street in the area and probably
find a garage door that is open and the inner door
is unlocked. Don’t let this be you.
13. Replace weak locks.
Locks are the weakest point on a door. Make
sure you have a grade one or grade two dead bolt
lock that penetrates the door frame. It’s not neces-
sary to get one at a specialty locksmith; these can
be purchased at a big box home store. The strike
plate—the stationary piece the bolt enters—must
be heavy duty, made of solid metal or brass, with
six three inch long screws that penetrate the door
jamb and the door frame.
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