Take the time to “case” your house or apartment, just as a burglar would. Where is the easiest entry? How can you make it more burglar-resistant?
- Trim trees and shrubs near doors and windows, and think carefully before installing a high, wooden fence around your back yard. High fences and shrubbery can add to your privacy, but can also be an asset to a burglar. Consider trading a little extra privacy for a bit of added security.
- Force any would-be burglar to confront a real enemy-light. Exterior lights and motion detectors, mounted out of easy reach, can reduce the darkness a burglar finds comforting.
- Simple security devices-nails, screws, padlocks, door and window locks, grates, bars and bolts can increase the amount of time it takes to break into your home.
- Invest in a burglar alarm. The most effective ones also ring at an outside
Simple Security Steps
Make sure you have strong doors. Outside doors should be metal or solid hardwood, and at least 13/4 inches thick. Frames must be made of equally strong material, and each door must fit its frame securely. Even the most efficient lock, if it is placed in a weak door, will not keep out a determined burglar.
A peephole or a wide-angle viewer in the door is safer for identifying visitors than a door chain.
Sliding glass doors present a special problem because they are easy to open, but you have these doors, you can find special locks for them. A broomstick in the door channel can also help, but cannot be depended on.
Deadbolt locks are best. They usually are locked with a key from the outside and a thumb turn on the inside. The cylinder (where the key is inserted) should be pick-resistant. Ask your hardware dealer for a reputable brand or buy your locks from a locksmith.
Key locks are available for all types of windows. Double-hung windows can be secured simply by “pinning” the upper and lower frames together with a nail, which can be removed from the inside.
For windows at street level or on fire escapes, consider installing metal accordion gates.
Insurance Information Institute; www.iii.org
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