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Protect Your Home

by Jacob Benowitz, Home Product Blogger for The House Designers®

An important step in preventing burglary and increasing your home protection is making sure that your home is as secure as possible. Many homes are easy targets for burglaries without you even realizing it, especially new homes. Simple everyday measures can be taken to increase your home security without even purchasing a security system. The following is a home protection checklist that hits on important security issues:

Home Security System

Installing a home security system can keep you safe and secure. Between cameras and lighting, you can take steps to prevent a burglary.

Burglars prefer to target empty residences

Piled up newspapers, mail and flyers, as well as putting your garbage out days in advance or not putting it out at all are all signs of vacancy, so make sure you stop your newspapers when you go on vacation and have a neighbor pick up your mail. It's also a good idea to leave your drapes/curtains slightly open and set your television, radio, and lights on timers so it looks like someone is home. If you can, leave a car in your driveway, even if it's your neighbors.

90% of all intruders choose not to enter a residence that is well lit

Be sure that you have lights installed around your home, particularly around your front door, driveway and rear porch or patio. Most intruders don't get the idea to break into your home until you give it to them.

Most burglars look for something worth stealing

Making valuables visible from outside the home, such as having lawn mowers, boats, bikes, tools and cars in your garage with the door left open or shades and curtains open to view home electronics and other valuable items. Be sure to put your home to bed a night by making sure all shades and curtains are closed, garage doors are closed and all points of entry are locked. It's also a good idea to get in the habit of locking first floor windows.

Burglars observe your daily behaviors

Regular routines give burglars an estimated amount of time to complete their job, which allows them to be more careful without getting caught. Try not to be too predictable with your daily schedule, come home earlier or leave late for work on some days. Everyone likes to have a spare key hidden, but choose your spot carefully. Avoid common spots like under the doormat, above doorways or anywhere close to the door.

Over 40% of home burglaries are termed by police as "no force" entries

Leaving your home with windows or doors unlocked or even open is an invitation for burglars to come in. You and your family have to practice and remind each other to always close and lock all doors and windows when leaving the house unattended for several hours.

Don't let them know who you are

It may go without saying, but it is worth repeating: a lost key with no address is worthless to a thief but it's like a treasure map if your address or name is on key. When it comes to your mailbox - avoid putting your name on it. The number and address is more than enough information.

In addition to utilizing the home protection checklist, an important guideline that always applies to home protection is remembering to lock the door and arm your security system. Locks and security alarms cannot provide home protection unless they are used properly.

Design Tip
Enlist the help of neighbors and start a neighborhood night watch. A neighborhood watch is a support group in which all neighbors in your community help each other by watching each other's homes. Neighborhood night watches are especially great for communities where there is a high crime rate or many elderly people who live around the area. A burglar will not be able to get away as quickly if he has more than one person keeping an eye out. In fact, having a neighborhood watch may be enough to deter an intruder all together.