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Home Safe Home: Simple Steps to Burglar-Proof Your House

Before you pack up to leave town, there are some easy-to-use tools that are inexpensive, or even free, that will allow you to monitor your house and keep it safe from thieves.
A burglar is smarter than you think. He doesn't work. He sits around thinking about breaking in to your house and stealing your property.

Alarm systems are great, but he has ways around them.

Putting a key under a fake rock by the front door is not fooling anyone.

The good news is, if you can make it tough enough to get in your home, even the most confident of thieves might pass on your address.

Once a career crook is in your home they are running on auto pilot, they go to the honey holes.

*Do you keep jewelry on a bathroom vanity?
*Have a few rifles in the closet or under the bed?
*What about the night stand?
*How about the drawer were your passports are and duplicate credit cards, is that unlocked too?
*That small safe, in the closet? If it's not bolted down they'll take the whole thing with them.

What you need to do is create obstacles, break their train of thought and make it hard for them.

Once they break the window let them know they're running out of time.

Daniel Jackson with Beyond Sound & Security suggests an alarm system with a glass-break sensor.

Once a thief hears an alarm, chances are they are done for the day.

But what if they're coming through a door? You can put a sensor on that and beef up the doors integrity at a very low cost.

Sam Emmerling remodels homes and sees the same thing in most homes he walks into

"It's as simple a $25 lock vs a $45 lock," he said. "People want to cut corners, but that's the last place they should look to save money."

Here's some advice you can use right now. Chances are your dead bolt goes into a metal plate with smaller, cheaper screws.  Replace them with longer screws and double up the plate, make it part of the wall.

Emmerling says soon after he installed a set up like that for a customer a bad guy came knocking, with his foot.

"He kicked the door 10 to 15 times, finally folded the door, but by the time he did that the alarm had gone off, he never got in the house," Emmerling said

Think about other ways into your home, like a garage door. Is your opener in your car? Might as well give them a key. Put a sensor on the door and bring your opener inside. They think of everything. Jackson suggests walking around your home looking for ways in.

"When you are designing a security system the main thing you want to look for are your homes vulnerable spots," Jackson said.

You could cover your home with an electronic net of surveillance, but if it's not turned on and armed, it's useless. Bad guys think of that too, says Jackson.

"Thieves are getting smarter, a thief will trip a system on purpose and leave. Police come, false alarm. They trip it again, police come, are frustrated, customer is frustrated and turns it off. Then they hit you," Jackson said.

But if you give your system eyes, it can watch the house when you're not home. If your alarm goes off you can go back and view the footage.
If you see a person has tripped it repeatedly, that's a red flag, and you're being targeted.

Video offers other defenses, too.
 
"What we have are cameras at the front door so the home owner can see who's there an they don't have to open the door if they don't want to," Jackson said.
 
Security measures also need to work with you while you're home.  

"One thing you want to focus on as a security tech is protecting the people not the property you want to protect property but you can't replace people," Jackson said.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind:

*Don't leave tools outside a crook can use to break in with

*Trim bushes by windows and doors, don't help crooks hide

*Lighting, no crook wants to be in the spotlight. Use timers inside and   
 out.
 
*Crooks know where to find a hidden spare key, the fake rock is not new.

*Leave a few lights on a radio or TV too

*Stop mail, use a house sitter

*Watch social media comments. Don't broadcast you are on vacation or post pictures while out of town.

*Call a friend to house sit or stop by.

Doing these things may take some effort and could cost a little money.

But think of it like a seat belt in your car seat. It's there in case something happens, in the event something does you're protected.

For more on Beyond Sound and Security, click here or here.
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