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June: National Safety Month 

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June is National Safety Month and a great time to ensure that your home is as safe as possible against burglars and other intruders. Use the tips and suggestions below to help protect your family.

 

  • Lock every door, every time. Whether you’re going out of town or just on a short trip to the store, every door and every window should be locked.
  • Present the impression that someone is at home at all times. Install timers on lights and electrical devices so that anyone watching your home will believe that someone is there. Most burglaries occur on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • If the entrances to your home are dark, install lighting and include lights with motion sensors.
  • Trees located near windows or shrubbery that might shield a burglar from view should be trimmed or removed.
  • Don’t store wood or other items near the side of the house as it can be used by intruders as a stepladder up to a window.
  • Get to know your neighbors and consider forming a neighborhood watch program. Also communicate with neighbors about any suspicious people you see in the area.
  • If your neighborhood has a website or social media presence, become a member.
  • If going away on vacation, ask a neighbor to check daily for mail and flyers stuck in your front door.
  • Change the locks when you move into a new house of if you lose your keys.
  • Never leave the key in the mailbox, under the doormat or a planter. Place it in a secret place known only by family members.
  • Before turning your house key over to any service worker, make sure the person is honest and reputable.
  • Don’t leave notes for service people or family members on the door.
  • Do not list your full name on your mailbox. Use only initial and last name.
  • Most burglars don’t pick locks or break glass. They simply kick in a door (even doors with dead bolts) or pry open a window or sliding patio door.
  • Dead bolt locks with a 1” throw are more secure and spring latch locks.
  • A door with glass panels should be fortified, replaced, or secured with deadbolts that can only be opened with a key.
  • Sliding glass doors, patio doors or sliding windows should have a metal bar that is placed along the bottom track of the door or window.
  • Dogs are good deterrents to burglars. Even a small, noisy dog can be effective.
  • Burglars know that people really do hide valuables in the sock drawer, freezer or empty cereal box. Think about purchasing a safe or renting a safety deposit box.
  • Keep in mind that burglars head straight to the master bedroom to look for jewelry, cash and guns. Their next stop is the bathroom to gather prescription drugs and then they collect the laptops, tablets and smartphones.
  • Installing a home alarm system is the most effective security measure. The systems immediately inform emergency authorities and warn homeowners of potential dangers. Additionally, seeing that a home has an alarm system often prevents an intruder from even attempting a burglary and hearing an alarm sound usually scares burglars away.
  • Inexpensive DIY security systems are available but if you cannot afford one, buy an alarm service decal to place on your door. Accomplished thieves are not fooled but decals may deter less-experienced intruders.
  • Conceal the system wiring as burglars often look for the exterior wiring and can cut it to disable the security system.

 

Sources:  www.alarm.org, www.ESAweb.org, www.ADT.com.