When we think of home safety tips, we think of the obvious: Have your lights on timers when you are away. Don’t let your mail or newspapers accumulate because they are a dead giveaway that you are not home. Yadda…yadda…yadda…
Well, this month I have some new and some old safety tips for securing your home (including the people and things in it) that you may not have thought about.
- Keep your shrubs trimmed below your windows to deter burglars from being able to hide behind them while entering and exiting your home. Furthermore, plant “thorny” shrubs below windows, such as roses. These not only act as a deterrent to would-be burglars, but also add some beauty to the outside of your home.
- If you do not have a security system, you should definitely spend a few dollars and purchase security system decals for your windows from a security system company. Although these will probably not deter a seasoned burglar, they will effectively deter the novice.
- If you have side windows on each side of your front or back door, you should avoid placing your security system keypad in an area that can be seen through the windows. Why give burglars a straight view in, to see if the security system is on or off?
- Always sleep with your car key fob on your nightstand. If you hear someone break in, you can hit the panic alarm button on your car’s alarm system to try and startle the burglar and provide you an opportunity to escape. An amazing product to just hit the market is the Mace Alert 911 fob. It provides one touch direct connection to a 911 operator, without the monthly monitoring fees of its’ competitors. It works anywhere in the US, comes with a lanyard and belt clip options and batteries are included.
- Speaking of your nightstand again- always charge your phone at night, on your nightstand (not in the kitchen or home office). If you hear someone enter and need to call 911 in a hurry, you don’t want your phone in another part of the house.
- Store your valuables such as money and expensive jewelry in a Diversion Safe. These are inexpensive, made to look identical to regular household products and keep your valuables hidden right in plain sight.
- When changing the locks on your home, the cheapest is not always the safest. Choose reputable locksmiths that are bonded and insured. Unfortunately, some locksmiths are “shady” and will sell the key to your home and address to criminals for a mere few bucks.
- If you have a repairman in your home for any reason, always check the locks on your windows and doors after they leave. It has been known, that repairmen have entered a home to complete work and “conveniently” unlocked a window in the bathroom, etc. to come back later and rob their customer.
- As a good habit, set up an auto-reminder on your computer or smart phone to go around your home and check all the locks on doors and windows once a month. This ensures that you haven’t left your home wide-open to be robbed by simply forgetting to lock a window or door after you have opened it.
- Do not hide your house key in the “usual places”. Burglars are all too familiar with looking under the flower pot, front door mat, or above the door for the house key. Instead, use a Stone Diversion Safe and place it in your garden. This will blend right in and be undetectable to a would-be thief.
- If you use the "home" programmable setting in your GPS, do not set it to your exact address. Simply set it to a main intersection that you know your way home from. If your car happens to get broken into and your GPS device is stolen, you don't want to give the car jackers a second chance to rob you! If they have your garage door opener and GPS, they can use the garage door opener and walk right into your house.
- Keep a pepper spray or stun gun in your night stand. God forbid, someone enters while you are home- you need to protect yourself. Both of these non-lethal self-defense options are effective. However, keep in mind that an attacker has to get within arms reach of you for a stun gun to be used, while the Home Defense Trigger Pistol Pepper Gel can be used on an attacker from 20 feet away!If you use the “Home” programmable setting on your Garmin or GPS, do not set it to your exact address. Simply set it to a main intersection near your home. If your car happens to get broken into and your GPS device is stolen, you don’t want to give the burglars a second chance to rob you! If they have your GPS and your garage door opener, they can walk right in.
- Some burglars and attackers are brazen enough, to come right up and knock on your front door! They may present a business card as you look through your “peep hole” or transom windows. If you are not expecting this visitor, you should call the phone number on the business card before opening your door and verify that the name of the person on the business card is an employee of the company on the business card, and that they are there for an honest reason. A personal friend of mine’s, elderly parents were brutally attacked and robbed because they didn’t want to “be rude” to a man who appeared to be professional, yet in reality, was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Taking these few simple and inexpensive precautions can be the difference between being a victim or not. The difference between life and death sometimes. My hope is that this article will bring awareness to each of it’s readers on how to protect themselves and their homes from being a victim of aggressive crime. Hopefully these “13 Safety Tips” will be Lucky 13 for each of our readers.