Before the meat and potatoes of security tips, we wanted to provide you a couple of general thoughts. These thoughts are much more important than any of the individual tips to the security of your home or business. Why, because like any information, like any tool, like any great idea, it doesn’t do you any good unless… You use it!
That’s right. A lock won’t keep someone out unless you – lock it! And… A lock won’t keep a bad guy out on the day he comes unless you use it all the time!
Therefore, you have to accept that protecting your loved ones and your property are all-important and security becomes part of your mindset!
Being a practical person, you know that you do not want to (or can not) live in a fortress, or make all your decisions solely from a safety or security point of view. Therefore, you don’t put so much security in place that it is not used (all the time).
You balance security with the reality of your situation.
Lastly, you recognize that having put in place a level of security that is consistent within your realm and recognizable from without, that you might need to increase the level of security at a moment’s notice. Therefore you have put in place systems and plans to increase the protection level when the threat level increases.
If you mix these philosophies with the tips provided below and apply them to your particular situation, you will have made a very “good faith effort” and probably embarked upon a path of creating Peace of Mind for your family, business and community.
The Outer Perimeter is the area surrounding your home or business. It is your first line of defense and best opportunity for deterrence.
- In general, you want to create the impression that a bad guy does not want to consider attacking your place. Take a good look at your place. What does a bad guy see that attracts him or warns him off.
- Exterior lighting increases both security and safety.
- Remember that landscaping can provide hiding places for an attacker or provide concealment for a break-in. If there are clear lines of sight to your location, the bad guys know that someone may see them perpetuate their crime.
- Don’t make a burglar’s job easier by leaving tools around to help them. Secure ladders, toolboxes, etc.
- If you have an alarm system, get yard signs and window decals from your alarm company.
- Do not leave your unlocked car sitting in your driveway or in your open garage. Bad guys know that they might find a purse, a garage door opener or even your keys for a future visit.
- Make sure that you do not give the impression of an unoccupied home.
- Solid doors, good locks with the appropriate latches, strike plates with 3″ security screws, door viewers and inaccessible hinges should take care of your exterior doors.
- Windows today cover a wide spectrum. You want to make it necessary to break them for someone to get in because bad guys prefer not to make noise that might cause attention. Thick glass is harder to break than thin, and certain plastics cannot be broken at all. If you are going to leave your windows open to let in fresh air, add a vent lock that keeps it from being easily opened wider. Consider pinning windows that might be broken to gain access.
- Basement windows are often attacked because they can be relatively easy to break into and may be obscured from view. Secondary locks, grating or glass block may be the answer. Remember to leave yourself a fire exit.
- Lock those doors and windows! Most burglaries occur through unlocked doors or windows.
- Alarm systems in themselves provide a strong deterrent to burglary. Why would a burglar go after your place if down the street he can attack a place without an alarm system.
- One of the best things about a burglar alarm system is that you then have all the main components so that it is easy to add other safety devices like fire detection.
- Alarm systems need to be tested. You should test them once a month at a minimum.
- Alarm systems perform two basic functions: to detect and communicate. Don’t make the mistake of skimping on noise. Include interior and exterior sirens so that the communication is heard by your neighbors (and the bad guy who just got detected).
- Traveling to and from your car is one of the times you are most at risk. This is because you are going someplace and you have all kinds of things on your mind. Bad guys know this. In general you want to stay alert and communicate that thru body language. It also helps to remember were you have parked, to have your keys out and ready before you get to car, and to have parked where there is light.
- Lock your car when you leave it, no matter how short a time that will be. This applies when you stop for gas and when you park it at home.
- When you drop the car off for service, leave only your car keys there – not your house and office keys.