Below you will find tips on how to protect your home against crime.
No alarm system will make your home 100% safe from an intruder. However, a good system can deter and/or detect most non-professional burglars and give you some peace of mind. Reputable companies will install and maintain a system that will ring an alarm on the premises and silently signal the company’s headquarters for dispatching the police. Once the company representative has made an appraisal of your security needs, ask for a written proposal and a copy of the contract you will have to sign. Make sure the contract lists all the points of protection, the equipment to be installed, and the initial and monthly payments. You should also check with your insurance company to see if you qualify for an alarm discount.
Helping the Police Get to Your Home
Make sure your street address number is clearly visible from the street and is well lighted at night so the police and other emergency personnel can locate your home easily. Numbers should be at least 6 inches high. Numbers on curbs or mailboxes should not be the only way to identify your house. If numbers are painted on curbs, they should be located near driveways where they are not likely to be blocked by parked vehicles. Make sure your unit number (in a multifamily housing development) is clearly visible from paths in the development. A directory or map that shows paths and unit locations should be placed at the main entrance of the development. Provide the police with an entry code if your community or development has a security gate.
Illuminate your property at night. Don’t depend on streetlights or lights from adjoining properties. Leave outside lights on after dark. Make sure there are no shadows or dark areas around the house, garage, or yard in which a person could hide. Check lights regularly and replace burnt out bulbs. Protect your lights from vandals with wire covers. Be sure your lights don’t shine into the eyes of passing motorists or police patrols. Padlock your circuit breaker box to prevent lights from being turned off. Good four-corner exterior lighting is important, particularly where there are dark areas around the house. Floodlights installed under eaves can illuminate these areas and expose anyone next to the house. Timers or photoelectric cells can be used to turn lights on at dusk and off at dawn. Motion sensors can be used to turn lights on when any motion is detected.
Protecting Your Home While You Are Away
Many of these actions are intended to make it appear that you are not away from home. Use timers on lights, radios, TVs, etc. to make them go on and off during the day and night to make your home appear occupied. Stop mail and newspaper delivery, or have a neighbor pick up anything left at the home. Keep grass watered and cut. Water and trim other landscaping. Ask the neighbors to watch your home and report any suspicious activities. Leave your itinerary with a neighbor so you can be contacted in an emergency. Disconnect your electric garage door opener and padlock the door, preferably on the inside.