Helpful Security Tips

An average family has a one-in-four chance of being the victim of a serious crime each year according to Justice Department statistics. Even worse, burglary and violence often go hand in hand.

Protecting your home and business is very important to all of us. Here are some important security tips that will help you keep your home and business secure. Follow these steps and use a monitored security alarm system and you will be able to rest easy knowing that you are safe. Here are some important statistics to keep in mind as you read these home security tips:

  • 1 burglary every 14.6 seconds
  • 62.2% of all burglaries occur between 6am-6pm
  • Average loss per residential burglary is $1607
  • Only 12.9% of all 2004 burglaries were solved

You probably don't like to think about crime, but no matter where you live, your income or your lifestyle; crime is a fact of life. That doesn't mean you're defenseless, though. 90% of police believe  alarms deter burglary attempts. 1 Put the following tips into action along with the monitored Action Security Systems, Inc. system to help make your home and business safer and more secure. Keep shrubbery trimmed. Thick shrubbery and trees cover your windows, allowing burglars to work undetected. Plant thorny bushes around windows and walkways. While this might seem obvious, many people forget to lock the house completely. Make sure all doors and windows are locked when you go to bed or leave your house. Install peepholes on all exterior doors. Always ask for identification from repair and service representatives. Never leave them in your home unsupervised. Be sure your address is visible from the street. A visible address is vital in emergency situations. Install easy-to-read and illuminated numbers. Get to know your neighbors as that is the only way for them to have a chance of noticing anything suspicious. Never share personal information with people you don't trust and be careful who might be listening when you talk in public. Often times, burglars will target the elderly, so be friendly & keep a watchful eye out for your elderly neighbors.

  • To make it easy for emergency vehicles to find your home, use large reflective numbers on your house and mailbox
  • Never store a ladder outside your home
  • Do not put your name on your mailbox
  • Do not hide a spare key outside your home
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed
  • Keep all entry points to your home well lit
  • Do not hide valuables in the freezer, cookie jar, or mattress
  • Make sure you break down boxes and cut them up before throwing them away
  • Shred sensitive documents before throwing in the trash
  • Keep jewelry in a safe or safe deposit box
  • Make an inventory of valuables in your household and store it somewhere other than your home, such as in a safe deposit box.
  • Ask for I.D. from service representatives who come to your home, and if they don't have it, check with their company to verify identity before letting them in.

 

  • According to the FBI, more burglaries occur in July and August than in any other months. So, before you take your family on that long awaited family vacation, make sure your home is secured by a GE home security system. The last thing you want to deal with when you come home is replacing valuable possessions and filing paperwork with the police department. Protect your home now.
  • Never leave an answering machine message indicating you're not at home. Instead, just say you "can't come to the phone."
  • Don't let mail, newspapers or flyers accumulate while you're away, tipping off criminals. Have the post office hold mail, have newspapers suspended, and have a neighbor or friend clear away flyers.
  • When vacationing, leave a car in your driveway or arrange for a neighbor to keep a car there and move it around from time to time.
  • Use a timer for your lights, TV, and radio while you are gone
  • Put your newspaper and mail delivery on hold
  • Have a neighbor keep an eye on your house, shovel snow, mow the yard
  • Leave an extra car parked in your driveway
  • Never tell people you are on vacation on your voicemail
  • Forward your home phone to your cell

There are many different kinds of residential doors, but most can be classified as one of the following:

  • Solid wood door
  • Panel doors (hollow and solid core)
  • Metal skinned 
  • Wood-edged doors
  • Metal edge-wrapped doors. 
  • Actual door frames are usually solid wood.

Security tests by Consumer Reports Magazine found that many types of residential doors fail easily when force is applied. Solid wood doors endure more pressure than the typical metal skinned wood-edged doors used in newer construction. 

Steel edged doors outperform wood-edged doors by a ratio of 7 to 1 and 2/3 of all break ins are through doors. One hit with 100 lb of force broke the wood-edged stile and opened the door. To actually open the steel-edged door required 7 hits of 100 lb pressure." Many manufactures provide several options of different types and strengths. 

It has also been reported that door frames often split with little force and that lower quality deadbolts failed when force was applied. In almost 90% of the break ins were the use of tools like screwdrivers and crowbars were used to bypass locked doors. Most often burglars targeted the doors that had no dead-bold. There were no documented cases where a burglar attempted to break a double pane window to gain entry.

Other common security methods and recommendations include the instillation, and use of the following: 

Sliding door channel or pin locks instead of sliding glass door braces, including wooden dowels, poles, and broom sticks.

High grade deadbolts on all outer doors instead of only on the front door. There are several manufacturers that offer deadbolts that are resistant to impact failure, picking and lock bumping. However, most deadbolts are not pick-resistant. Secondary internal locks including sliding bolts, hooks and specialty latches, like metal blocks or bars mounted internally also help to better secure your home. 

Outdoor lights with motion detectors. The more well lit your home, the less privacy a potential burglar has to break in. Large bushes shrubs should also be cleared from near doorways to reduce the chances of a burglar being hidden from public view. 

Install a home security or burglar alarm, and learn to use it properly.

Door and strike reinforcers -There are several different products that fall under this category: 

Frame reinforcers are metal strips installed vertically on or behind the door frame.

Door reinforcers that wrap the door edge to prevent delamination. 

Strike pockets can be reinforced by using the 3" screws that are often provided with the strike plate to attach the deadbolt pocket directly to the stud or other wall, instead of only being anchored into the thinner door frame. 

Hinges can be reinforced in similar ways, by using longer 3" screws to attach to a stud, and by using specialized hinge screws to prevent the door from being simply pushed in after removing the hinge pins. 

Chains allow the door to be opened slightly, with out allowing full access to your home. 

Peep holes are small fish-eye lenses that allow residents to view outside without opening the door. 

Securing windows in or beside doors can be challenging. 

Three methods commonly used are: 

Security films -coatings applied directly to the glass in windows to reinforce it.

Breakage resistant Plexi-glass, or other glass replacement products.

Security bars and grates that cover window openings. 

This method however also may have fire safety implications that should be explored.

  • Replace or repair broken or cracked windows immediately
  • Keep expensive items away from windows
  • Use blinds or curtains so that its harder for people to see inside
  • Make sure you replace or repair broken & cracked windows immediately.
  • Always keep expensive items away from windows and use window treatments on windows and doors that are easy to see into.

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