Under lock and key

Posted by on March 16th, 2018

Your new home doesn’t have to be a prison, but it needs to be secure! One of the most important reasons for having your own place is having a safe place for your own “stuff.”

More than 2 million burglaries are reported each year in the U.S., or about one every 15 seconds. Don’t become one of these alarming statistics!

The most expensive solutions, in this case, are the best. Studies show that homes with a professionally installed home security system and monitoring are far less likely to be targeted by burglars.

According to security firm ADT, facial recognition locks will be standard security by 2025 – just like the movies. But the costs of these high-tech systems can be prohibitive.

For those of us with less disposable cash, there are plenty of affordable actions that are nearly as effective. It’s quite simple- lock up, light up and make lists. Cooperation from friends and neighbors helps, too.

One of the first things many new homeowners forget to do is change the locks. Though it may seem unnecessary, one can never be certain there aren’t copies of the old keys floating around. Change the doorknobs and add new deadbolts. It will probably run less than $100.

Get extra key copies made and leave one or two with people you trust, so you don’t have to shell out hundreds more to a locksmith when you inevitably lock yourself out.

Make sure all windows lock from the inside, and use a locking bar on sliding doors in addition to the regular lock.

Lock and close all garage doors when not in use. Automatic door openers should never be left in your vehicle. Don’t hide spare keys outside. Just leave them with the aforementioned trusted people.

Trim vegetation from windows and illuminate areas where shadows fall. Exterior entrance lights are essential, and motion-detecting lights are recommended.

The next step is minimizing losses. Why not organize a “test burglary?” Have a friend roam through your house for three to five minutes, and see how many small valuables he or she can get away with. Use the information gained to lock these items away in a designated hiding place, a safe or even an off-site security deposit box.

Now comes the list part. Keep serial numbers for valuables and keep descriptions of items that don’t have serial numbers.

Maintain good communication with neighbors. Oftentimes someone will remember something they saw or heard and the incident can be solved instantly.

Perhaps form a Neighborhood Watch. A throwback to Colonial America, the Neighborhood Watch concept was revived in the 1980s to strengthen relationships between police and communities. Neighborhood watch members report suspicious activity or crimes immediately to the authorities.

If you arrive home and discover a burglary has already happened, leave everything undisturbed and call police.

Never confront a burglar. Call police immediately.