Whenever you leave your home — whether it’s for a fall vacation, the school run, or a just a long day at Costco — you want everything to be in its place when you get back. Protect yourself from theft with these do’s and don’ts of home security.
Do: Lock It Down
Sure, it’s home-security common sense to have locks on all exterior doors, but have you thought about other entrances? Basically, any entrance into the property should have a locking mechanism, including gates and windows. Many burglaries aren’t forced entries; the intruders just walk through unlocked doors.
Don’t: Hide and Seek
After going to the trouble of installing all these locks, don’t hide a door key outside “just in case.” Your home security is compromised the second someone finds out about its “secret” location (yes, thieves will look under the flower pots). If you must have a spare key, keep it in your car, which should also be locked at all times.
Do: Look Who’s Knockin’
Installing a peephole in your front door lets you check out who’s knocking and gives you time to determine the next action. Simply having a peephole in your door can be enough to deter unwanted guests.
Don’t: Allow Window Shopping
Keep valuables such as high-end media centers, jewelry collections, and expensive sports equipment away from windows. Treating your home like a store-window display will just advertise to potential burglars that your home is worth keeping an eye on.
Do: Light It Up
Putting up a set of outdoor motion-sensor lighting near the front door, garage and any nearby alleyways provides a visual deterrent for would-be thieves. After all, uninvited guests tend to stay out of the spotlight.
Don’t: Check In
We get it — you want to update your social media channels about what’s new and cool in your life. But you may want to keep your plans for that exciting winter vacation or your new Wednesday-night Barre class to yourself. Letting strangers know your whereabouts is another way of telling them your home is up for grabs.
Do: Change It Up
If you’re moving into a new home, take the time and invest in a whole new set of locks. You have no way of knowing who’s got keys to the current locks, and it simply isn’t worth risking it. The same goes if you lose your current key — replace the whole system ASAP.
Do: Garden No-go’s
Hedges, shrubs, and fencing segments provide excellent places for crooks to hide while checking your property for security vulnerabilities. Cut back bushes, trim hedges, and limb trees so that all entrances are visible from the street.
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