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  • Is Your Home Secure? A Safety Checklist to Determine If You Need Home Security

    Digital houses

    Keeping your home safe is always a top priority, and with the increasing threat of crimes such as burglaries and home invasions, it’s always a good idea to thoroughly assess its security. Most of the time, would-be intruders will scan a neighborhood for the low-hanging fruit first–that is, the houses that seem to be a little lax on their security measures. You definitely don’t want your house to fall into that category, but how can you tell whether it does or not? Use the following safety checklist as your go-to guide to analyze and improve the security of your home.

    1. Do you have adequate locks on your exterior doors?

    All of your exterior doors should have locksets that are robust enough to make unauthorized entry extremely difficult. Unfortunately, this is typically not the case with traditional locks, which can easily be subject to picking or bumping. Lock bumping is particularly troublesome because it usually leaves no signs of forced entry, which could come back to bite you if you try to file an insurance claim. While having a traditional lockset is better than nothing, it’s far from ideal in terms of optimizing the security of your doors. Keyless locks are the best choice for keeping your entryways safe from intruders; locksets such as the Kwikset SmartCode 911 are equipped with BumpGuard technology, which makes them both bump-proof and pick-proof. Using a keyless lock will not only relieve you of the headache of keeping up with keys, but it will also provide safer, easier and quicker access into your home.

    2. Are your windows adequately secured?

    All of the windows on your home should have working locks. You can reinforce your windows with a dowel, charley bar or an old broom handle to keep them from being raised or opened from the outside. You can also reinforce any sliding glass doors in the same way. If you don’t have a home security system in place to detect attempted unauthorized entries, you may want to consider installing Linear Z-Wave door and window sensors on all of your home’s entry points. Since these sensors are perfectly compatible with the BeHome247 home automation system, they can be remotely armed with the push of a button on your smartphone. Should any intrusion take place, you can program the system to send you an email and/or text message alert, as well as trigger a loud alarm siren in order to scare the intruder away.

    3. How secure is the perimeter of your home?

    You should install bright lights with motion detectors to illuminate any dark areas around your house, yard or garage that could possibly hide prowlers at night. Any shrubs, bushes or trees should be adequately pruned and trimmed in order to eliminate potential hiding places. Bushes under windows should be pruned so that they don’t reach past the sills, and tall bushes should be pruned from the ground up in order to expose feet or legs. Any exterior buildings (sheds, garden houses, etc.) should have adequate locks as well (preferably keyless). If you have a fence around your house, be sure to lock the fence gate. One of the best ways to monitor the perimeter of your home is to install security cameras in strategic places around your property. The BeHome247 remote security monitoring package enables you to view real-time streaming video footage of your property using wireless high-definition cameras. This will help you keep tabs on everything happening around your property.

    4. Do you have adequate security protocols when you’re away from home?

    Burglars will think twice before trying to enter a home that appears as though it’s occupied. One of the best ways to simulate this when you’re away from home is to utilize a smart home automation system such as BeHome247, which allows you to program your lights in a manner that can fool potential intruders. For example, you can create a scenario entitled “Away” that will turn lights on and off in various rooms in a logical sequence, giving the appearance that you’re at home and actively moving around. If you’re going to be away from home for an extended period of time, you can arrange for your neighbors to pick up your mail and newspapers so that nothing piles up, which is a telltale sign of an unoccupied home.

    The National Crime Prevention Council estimates that a house is broken into every 15 seconds in the United States. Unfortunately, only a dismal 13 percent of these burglaries lead to arrests, and an even lower number see the resident’s property returned to them. Putting the above suggestions into practice will help you to prevent potential security breaches, and will go a long way toward ensuring the safety of your property and your loved ones.

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