If you had the “Home Theft for Dummies” handbook, rule #1 would be “find an easy mark.” If you’re not going to do some of the basics to make your home less appealing to burglars, then you better have pretty good home insurance.
Did you know that research has found that a burglar will avoid your home if it takes more than four (4) or five (5) minutes to break in?
That’s right, so do your part and make your home safer and make sure you have the proper dead-bolt locks, window grates, bars and smoke/fire/burglar alarms.
This is just basic smarts, and most home insurance companies will provide discounts ranging from 2% to 15% for security devices.
Important Note: When improving your home’s security, don’t make choices that compromise your personal safety. Your home should not be such a fortress that you’re unable to escape if there is an emergency … like a fire.
Whenever possible, make sure your valuables, like paintings, silver collections, electronics, and jewelry are not easily viewable from outside the home. Rearranging you home may be advisable if it makes it more difficult for a would-be robber being enticed by your stuff.
Doors - Make sure you have strong doors. Outside doors should be metal or solid hardwood, and at least 1 3/4 inches thick. Frames must be made of equally strong material, and each door must fit its frame securely. Even the most efficient lock, if it is placed in a weak door, will not keep out a determined burglar.
A peephole or a wide-angle viewer in the door is safer for identifying visitors than a door chain.
Sliding glass doors present a special problem because they are easy to open, but if you have these doors, you can find special locks for them. A broomstick in the door channel can also help, but cannot be depended on.
Locks - Deadbolt locks are best. They usually are locked with a key from the outside and a thumb turn on the inside. The cylinder (where the key is inserted) should be pick-resistant. Ask your hardware dealer for a reputable brand or buy your locks from a locksmith.
Windows - Key locks are available for all types of windows. Double-hung windows can be secured simply by "pinning" the upper and lower frames together with a nail, which can be removed from the inside.
For windows at street level or on fire escapes, consider installing metal accordion gates.
It is impossible to totally eliminate home theft risks, but if you follow these tips you can vastly reduce your chances of a break-in. If you have more questions, you can consult a home security specialist or your insurance agent for more useful tips.
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