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Home protection

001d26_856e39d9eb4b45648d4c55105d95b825Home safety comes in many forms. Perhaps you have a "guard dog", or you have installed a state-of-the-art security system in your house. Or, you have firearms or weapons of self-defense on the premises. Regardless of your method for protecting your home, often times it is easy to forget some fundamental "rules", which can lead to home invasion and robbery. Read our home safety tips below  - you may learn something you didn't know.


  • Ensure exterior lights illuminate all entrances to your home.
  • Keep shrubbery trimmed so a burglar can't hide near windows and doors
  • Keep garage doors closed and locked at all times
  • Use exterior doors made of solid core construction (including door leading from garage to house)
  • Have sliding glass doors secured with auxiliary locks or pinned, and put screws in the track to prevent removal of doors
  • Secure windows with auxiliary keyed locks or pin with a nail
  • Keep doors locked at all times
  • Mark your valuables with an identifying number and have a record of them with complete serial number, make and model
  • Always leave your headlights on when arriving home after dark until you have unlocked the garage door
  • When arriving home by private auto or taxi, ask the driver to wait until you are safely inside
  • Have the door key in your hand so you can open the door immediately when you return home
  • When moving into a new apartment or residence, ALWAYS have the locks re-keyed, or changed
  • Know who is at your door before opening it
  • Wide angle door viewers (180 degrees / 190 degrees) enable you to identify the visitor. You can see the person, that person can't see you
  • Don't be afraid to ask for identification
  • Never let strangers into your home to use the telephone. Make the call for them while they wait outside
  • Leave at least one light on -- inside and out when you're away
  • Always leave outside lights on after dark, or use motion lights
  • In an apartment building, NEVER be alone in the laundry room
  • If you suspect that someone is in your house, do not go in. Use your cell phone or go to a neighbor and call the police
  • If you see or hear anything suspicious, call the police
  • At home, do not display all your valuables where they can be seen from a window or doorway.

  • Buy high-quality dead-bolt locks -- and use them!
  • Secure exterior doors with a deadbolt lock (single or double cylinder) with a minimum 1 inch throw
  • Be sure any door and window locks can be opened quickly if there is a fire.
  • Never rely on chain locks. They are a privacy lock, but not a security lock.
  • Never dress in front of windows, always close your drapes.
  • Never let anyone into your home without proper identification.
  • Don't give out personal information such as your name, address, social security number or credit card numbers.
  • If you have an answering machine, use it to screen unwanted calls
  • Notify the police of threatening or harassing calls
  • If you receive a wrong number phone call, don't give out your name or phone number
  • If you receive an obscene phone call, hang up and call police.

  • Watch other houses or apartments, and let your neighbors know of anything suspicious.
  • Offer your phone to neighbors for emergency use, and use theirs when necessary
  • Keep in touch with your neighbors.

  • Don't go in!
  • Call the police from a nearby phone.

When shopping for a burglary alarm system, use this guideline to check out the System you are considering as well as the dealer.

  • Is the company a member of any local business organization?
  • Check with the local Consumer Affairs Office or Better Business Bureau to see is there are any problems with this company
  • What is the alarm background of the company's installation personnel
  • Does the company offer 24-hour service in case of false alarms
  • Will the company work with you in getting reduced insurance premiums if you install one of their system
  • Is there a warranty or maintenance contract for the system
  • Is the system electrically or battery operated? If electrically operated, does it switch automatically to battery power without activating the alarm in the event of a power failure
  • If the alarm system is activated, will it automatically shut off after a reasonable alert period (10 - 15 minutes)
  • After the system is activated, will it automatically reset if attacked again
  • If the control switch or box is exposed, will it activate the alert if attacked
  • If it is a hardwire system (wires connecting to sensor to control to alert), are the wire protected from attack and unnecessary wear by the elements
  • It is a local system (audible to the immediate area); does it ring loud enough to attract the attention of your neighbors
  • If the system is for commercial premise, will the company have someone respond to the location in order to assist the police by opening the building
  • Does the system have time delay, if appropriate, to activate and deactivate the alarm system without setting off the alert
  • If the system is monitored by a central station, it is a tape recording or person? (In some municipalities, the call for assistance to the police cannot be made by a taped message.
  • Is the system Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (U.L.) approved?