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Monday, July 27, 2009

Keeping Your Valuables Safe, Part 2

Did you read yesterday's article? ( Did you make your list of items you can't insure but want to hide? Er, keep safe?


Next, let's reduce the risk of being burglarized. When you leave home, whether it's for 10 minutes or 10 days, make it look like you'll be right back.
  • Leave the TV or radio on, louder than usual if possible. We set the TV on one timer, and have the radio go on after the TV shuts off.
  • Close all curtains so anyone watching won't know whether someone's moving around or now.
  • Set a timer for lights. Have your living room light come on and turn off at different times than the kitchen light and the bedroom light. These lights should be seen from the street. To figure out the pattern, someone will have to stake out your house for at least a few days, risking someone seeing their vehicle out in the street.
  • Take your phone off the hook. That way people won't know whether you're home and just not answering your phone, or what.
  • If you'll be gone even one day, don't let your newspapers and mail pile up. Have a neighbor pick them up, or cancel/hold them.
  • Never EVER announce you're leaving on a trip, whether in a blog or in the newspaper (like a honeymoon). That practically invites people to come and shop in your home.
  • Get a sticker or decal that lets the criminal know you're armed and dangerous. Try the NRA - for a small membership fee, you'll get a decent decal. You don't have to keep the membership, if that's not your thing.
  • Install motion detector lights at all entrances. There are some cheap ones that run on solar charges. You might not be home, but the light going on might catch the attention of someone passing by the house.
  • Trim shrubs around the immediate perimeter of your house. Install thorny rose or blackberry bushes, and other prickly plants. Be sure to keep a little area clear for you to escape in case of fire.
  • Check your locks. If you have a flimsy lock, you need to have it replaced with a good solid deadbolt that will take some time to break past.
  • Check your doors. Those with glass panes are a bad idea for two reasons: (1) they allow people to see in, even with curtains, and (2) they can be broken out and a thin arm can easily reach the lock from that broken-out pane. Replace with solid doors and, if possible, cross-bars.
  • Check your windows. Double-pane windows means someone has to break through 2 layers of glass to gain entrance. Caulk around the edges so it will be harder to remove the windows themselves. Ask your local home improvement store for special locks and other ways to prevent people from gaining entrance. DON'T nail the windows shut tho because of the safety problem presented by fires.

Don't advertise what you have in your home. When bringing your newly-purchased guns home, be sure to wrap them in a blanket before lifting from your vehicle. Never brag about what you have because there is always someone listening.

If someone breaks into your home with no knowledge of when you'll be returning, they won't know if they have 10 minutes to look around or 10 days. They'll be working "under the clock". They'll have to check the bathroom and the basement to make sure you aren't home before they can start looking around. They'll miss things that are hidden, and won't bother following around with breaking into even a cheap safe.

Anything you can do to make their job harder will reduce your losses and might even make them decide it isn't worth the chance of getting caught breaking into your home at all.

More tomorrow...


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