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Protecting Your Home From Break-Ins

Help protect your home from break-ins with these home security tips for alarms, lights, and locks.

Anti Burglary Tip No. 3: Don't Make It Easy to Hide

A burglar is more likely to try getting into a house where there is less chance of being seen. Taking away the robber's cover goes a long way toward protecting your house.

  • Thieves can hide behind trees and shrubs. Trim back or remove any shrubbery next to doors or windows. If you are going to use plants next to the house, you should use thorny plants such as holly or roses.
  • Use outside security lighting to illuminate every access door. The main entrance should be illuminated with a fixture that has two bulbs or with two fixtures in case one bulb burns out.
  • Use exterior lighting with motion detectors for the yard, driveway and other outside regions. If lights come on when someone approaches, a burglar is less likely to try breaking into your home. Also, if the lights are activated by motion rather than being left on all the time, your neighbors are more likely to notice if someone is moving around your house.
  • Remember the back and side of your home offer some concealment for a burglar who is trying to break in. So pay close attention to securing all entrances, and if possible avoid installing a tall privacy fence since that offers even greater concealment.

Anti Burglary Tip No. 4: Install a Home Security Alarm System

Home security alarms are not a guarantee that burglars will not enter your home. But they do make it more difficult by increasing the risk that the burglar will be seen and caught. If it's obvious your house is alarmed, the burglar may look for an easier target.

  • Be sure to use the yard sign and window decals that say your house is protected by a home security system.
  • Regularly check to make sure the sign is visible and has not been covered up by shrubs or pulled out of the ground by pets or neighborhoods children.
  • Choose a home security system that uses motion detectors as well as arms all windows and doors that could provide access.
  • Also consider using glass-break sensors that set off the alarm at the sound of a window or glass door panel being broken. Some sensors also detect sudden shock waves and will set the alarm off if someone is trying to kick open the door.
  • Never post your pass code next to or on the home security alarm key pad.


Anti Burglary Tip No. 5: Get to Know Your Neighbors

The best home security comes from neighbors who look out for one another. Make it a point to meet your neighbors so that you can ask them to keep an eye on things while you're away.

And if your neighborhood does not already have a neighborhood watch program, consider organizing one. Most local law enforcement agencies have people available who can help you plan and organize a watch program to keep not just your possessions safe, but your family as well.

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Reviewed on September 21, 2010
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