protect your home against intruders

How can you protect your home against intruders?

A few simple measures will usually keep all but the most determined burglars from giving your home a second glance.

Steps to a safer home include locking away all ladders, garden tools, trash cans, patio furniture, and other outdoor accessories that could help an intruder break and enter.

Burglarproof entry points with window locks, deadbolts, and security devices for sliding glass doors. 

You might also want to consider installing a professionally monitored alarm system. It's costly but just may be worth the investment. The simple security measures below can help. 

Securing your home

Whether your home is humble or palatial, there's probably something inside it of interest to thieves. But most burglars aren't angling to fill their bags with grandma's china or your best crystal.

Instead, they're after everyday items - the television, a sound system, your son's expensive pair of sneakers - that can be sold quickly and easily down the street.

Most burglars are not exceedingly skilled at their game. The majority are teens or young adults on the prowl for an unoccupied, unsecured home.

Few have high-tech lock-picking devices; their tools are as simple as their methods - they'll pry open a sliding glass door with a screwdriver, or stand on a patio chair or shimmy up a drainpipe to reach an unlocked window.

The good news is that your antitheft strategies can be simple, too. A few necessary precautions will usually keep all but the most determined burglars from giving your home a second glance. 

Clean up Outside Your Home

Take a home safety assessment walk around the perimeter of your home. Is the vegetation near doors and windows well trimmed? Dense shrubbery provides the perfect cover for intruders, allowing them to work undetected by your neighbors.

To protect your home, make a note to prune any overgrown greenery the next time you're working in the garden. Then look around your yard. Do you have ladders, sturdy trash cans, stackable boxes, garden tools, or patio furniture that could help a thief break in? If so, stow them in your garage or tool shed. 

Burglarproof  Your Home's Entry Points

Next, check all your windows and doors. Those at street level are popular entry points because they're easily reachable and often hidden from view. 

Secure first- and second-story windows by adding a pickproof locking device - such as a keyed lock, a sash lock, or a locking bolt - depending on the type of window you have.

Sliding glass doors are the type most vulnerable to break-ins, as their rudimentary locks are easy to pick.

The simplest solution is a metal patio security bar or a length of wood dowelling (a section of broom handle also works) placed in the lower door track.

Stash Your Spare House Key in a Creative Place

No, stashing your spare house key under the doormat or beneath a flowerpot is not creative. These are the first places thieves look for keys in hopes of easy access to your home.

Move the spare to a different, more creative location.

Protect Your Home With a Monitored Alarm System

Today's improved technology and competitive marketplace have made getting an alarm system for your home more affordable than ever. 

Most systems include magnetic door and window contacts that trip the alarm when separated. The central component of a security system service is a round-the-clock monitoring station that responds to any security breach by telephoning you.

If you don't answer the call and provide your password, the police will be sent to your home.

Should an intruder break in while you're there and force you to turn off the alarm, you can key in a unique code that will send a silent call for help.

Most home security systems are simple enough that a guest or school-age child could learn to operate them.

Ultimately, the decision to go with one of the home security system companies in your area will hinge on how much home security you need and whether the peace mind that you stand to gain is worth the cost of the security system service.

› Protect Your Home Against Intruders