It’s spring and we’re doing more outside, including around our homes. But no matter the season, here’s a handy Home Security Refresher to cut theft risks at your home, whether you own or rent.
It’s always important to protect your home! Many people do not think much about theft, or worse, home invasions, until it’s too late. In some areas, it may still seem all right to leave the doors unlocked at night. In other neighborhoods you’d never consider doing such a thing even a few minutes (and it’s always a good habit to keep your doors locked with a deadbolt). Thefts are a problem even in the best of neighborhoods. Thefts are one of the most common claims against home insurance policies, too. For those who want to improve home safety, it is possible. You just need to use your noodle and think like someone casing out your home.
Here are some things to consider with your new eyes as you look over your home.
ü Do not keep a spare key to your home outdoors. You could keep one in your car (but windows are easily broken), or better yet, leave one with a neighbor.
ü Take a walk around the outside of your home, make a note of every entry point; go inside and make sure each one has a functioning lock. Then, always keep them locked, even when you are home. Speaking of locks, add enhanced locks to doors, especially deadbolts, if they’re near glass you may be able to add double-cylinder locks (must use key on both sides…just don’t keep the key in it near the window). There are even locks that improve your security as they track when the door opens with a keypad entry.
ü Remove any ladders or tools from around the exterior of the home (no sense providing easier access to windows at any level).
ü Add security lights by all doors around the home; you could even add a camera doorbell for added security. Consider a motion-sensing home security system. The lights turning on by a motion detector can deter thieves; some systems call out to a central station too.
ü With smart phones come apps so you could consider a neighborhood app. Some neighborhoods also have Facebook groups. Staying on top of what’s happening in your area with your neighbors reminds everyone stay alert and safe.
ü Consider a home security system that also adds protections for your garage, shed, and other outdoor spaces. This could be important if the garage has a door into the home. Keep the inside garage door locked too.
ü Add safety bars to windows or doors that slide open, like a sliding glass door. These make it impossible for the door to open from the outside. There are also locks one can attach to the door.
ü You can add security glazing and reinforce all glass insets on the doors to your home. Security glaze minimizes what anyone can see inside your home. Curtains and blinds can also minimize how much people can see when looking into your home. Again, you do not want people to see what you have in your home.
If something does happen, call the police and file a report. If you suspect someone is in your home, call 911 and do not go in. It’s a better safe than sorry situation. Afterward, you can also call your agent and file a claim for the loss. A better idea is to contact your agent to understand what coverage you have before you might need it.
Go through this list and see if something could help you be more secure. Can you make any of these improvements to your home? Even doing just one of these could help minimize your theft or home invasion risks.
By the way…locks are good deterrents on cars too. Keep your doors locked if you leave it and once you get in it. Get in the habit of locking your car doors as you get into the car. Also, don’t keep “Valet keys” in the car (it makes them that much easier to steal).
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