After years of working in home and commercial security, there are a few simple steps you can take to quickly (and inexpensively) make your home a safer place. Certain simple (and inexpensive) steps that you can take to make your home a safer and more secure place. You can make your home safer and more secure from the moment you move in.
- Eliminate or trim bushes and foliage that are in front of windows and doors, which obscure the view of that window and door. Large bushes in front of accessible windows and doors provide great hiding places for intruders to work on opening that window or door. Eliminating that hiding place can also take away places for stalkers or peeping toms to hide. Not only does this improve your view of what’s outside, but it eliminates hiding places for intruders. This is a simple and free tip that can really make a difference.
- Install smoke detectors in your home (and if you already have them, test them to make sure they are working. Almost 400,000 home fires occur every year. The National Fire Protection Association states that you can become disoriented and consumed by a fire in as little as 2 minutes. Every second counts. Because you want to focus on getting out with your family and not having to call the fire department, I recommend a monitored smoke detector, such as the GE Wireless Crystal Smoke Detector that works with GE Simon XT systems to call the police automatically for you. These always-on, always-monitored, 24/7/365 (and 366 during leap year!) systems watch your home and family for you all the time (even when your alarm system is disarmed). This is the most important part of a well designed security system.
- Make sure that you change your locks within the first 24 hours of moving in. This is critically important. There are many people that the previous owner could have given a key to, such as a housekeeper, handyman, friend, ex-girlfriend, ex-boyfriend, etc. You don’t know any of them. If they see the movers bringing in that nice new flatscreen TV, you are a quick target. Change the locks. I suggest when you do it, to get the locks keyed alike and get a wireless code lock. A lock like this allows you to set many codes for many people (instead of giving them keys). This is great in case that dog walker, babysitter or maintenance person is someone you don’t want to have a key in the future. With a code set like this, you won’t ever have to change the locks again, you just eliminate the code for that person. You can even save money by having pre-keyed locks sent to you for self-install. This can save you big money on service calls from locksmiths.
- Get a security system for your home. The latest systems are all wireless and with a service like Plug & Protect from SafeMart, you can be up and running in 30 minutes or less while saving 30-70% off of ADT. Another study from Northeastern University states that alarm systems really do make homes safer from intrusion and burglary. In fact, it found that, “Most offenders, though, wanted to avoid alarms altogether and, upon encountering such devices abandoned all thought of attacking the dwelling.”
- A recent study from Rutgers University found, ““Neighborhoods in which burglar alarms were densely installed have fewer incidents of residential burglaries than the neighborhoods with fewer burglar alarms.”
Brad Morehead is a Licensed Home Security Expert and Do-It-Yourselfer that is passionate about technology and innovative products to secure families. Learn more at: SafeMart (www.SafeMart.com) Follow Brad @BradMorehead to get more great tips.