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Does Your Home Look Inviting To Intruders?

It doesn’t bare thinking about, but it happens on a daily basis, and it could happen to you. Having your home broken into, or being burgled is a problem nobody wants to deal with. But are you inadvertently advertising your home to unwanted guests?

You may not realise it, but a door with a faulty lock, a gate without a chain, or a window that’s always left open when you’re out – even just a crack, could be all it takes for an intruder to take their chance.

So, what’s the answer? Well, here you’ll find a range of tips to help you make your home more secure and maybe even open your eyes to how.

Outdoor signage!

It might seem simple, but a large, bold sign that reads “CCTV in operation” or a simple “Beware of the Dog” sign, could be all it takes to ward off any potential thief. A company like smartsign.com provides custom made signs and can even offer advice. Even if you don’t actually have these things on your property. It’s a cheap and cost effective way to add a little more security.

Is anybody home?

Thief BurglarMake your home look occupied at all times: leave lights and the TV on when you go out. You could even leave a pair of shoes by the front door!

Nowhere to hide!

Keep trees and bushes around your home trimmed so that they do not provide hiding spaces for intruders.

Hello neighbour!

Get to know your neighbours. No one likes a nosey neighbour, but good neighbours will be on the lookout for unusual activity and are great for putting out bins and emptying the letterbox when you’re away.

Lockdown!

Check that all doors and windows are locked before you leave the house or go to bed. Even when you are at home, keep external doors locked and it might be inconvenient, but avoid keeping spare keys in obvious hiding places outside your home. Under doormats, potted plants and lawn ornaments are the first place someone may look.

Make lighting your new best friend!

Ensure that driveways, pathways, and entry points to you home have adequate lighting.  Install motion sensor lights on the exterior of your home. Use a range of lights on timers indoors and stagger when they turn on and off so your home looks genuinely occupied. This is not only great for times when you’re travelling but also for nights when you are caught working late or are out in the evenings.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding The Best Security System For Your Home Or Office

It used to be that arming your home with a security system involved opening walls, hiring a security company, and paying a fortune. Nowadays, recent technological advances have done away with many of the hassles that used to come with security systems. If you are in the market for a surveillance system to protect your home or business, the good news is that you no longer have to pay a fortune or make a huge mess cutting open walls.

Last year alone, the Better Business Bureau received over 600,000 inquiries about which alarm system companies were the best. If you are approached by someone who is promising to upgrade your system or is going door-to-door, that should be your first warning sign that they might not be the best security system company for you. If you are going to choose a security system company, there are ways to ensure that you are getting what you pay for.

 

House Fence GateChoose a service that is reputable and has a name

The best home security system is going to be the one with the best reputation. If you want to make sure that your family and belongings are truly safe, then you can’t be completely guided by price. Finding a company that is known in the business is the best way to protect yourself. If you want to know who is considered industry-wide to have great service, you can call your homeowner’s insurance carrier. They not only will be able to recommend someone, but they might also actually offer you a discount if you go with a specific security company.

Shop around

Contact at least three different companies to get quotes, find out what they are offering and how they would go about setting up a security system for you. Just make sure that whoever you consult is registered with the Better Business Bureau and that they do background checks on their employees. If they don’t do background checks on their employees, you might unwittingly be giving a criminal, the keys to enter your home.

Make sure you know the cost

Ask up front about the price of service and make sure that there aren’t any hidden fees. Often a company will quote you one price, but then you get the bill and are shocked by the additional charges. Make sure that you know exactly what it will cost before you have them install their equipment and it becomes too late. Also, call and see if you can get a break on your insurance because you are hiring a specific company; it never hurts to ask.

Additional things to considerHome Fence Gate

You will also want to ask how much it will cost monthly, if there are any contracts you have to sign, and how long you will have to use their service. You also need to know if there is a charge for quitting early. Specifics like what they are going to do if you are dissatisfied with the service and, if the company is bought out, how your monitoring with them could be affected, are all things that you should include in your questioning.

State of the art?

Check out the type of technology they use and do your research to ensure that it is the best in the business. The company that you are hiring is only going to be as good as the technology that they employ around your home or office.

If someone is using high-pressure sales tactics, that is never a good sign. You want to feel comfortable with the security company that you hire. If someone is making you feel like you have to make a decision immediately, there is usually a reason. They want you to sign on the dotted line before you are allowed to learn the truth or do some investigating. Never sign anything before you give it some thought, and never ever if someone is making you feel pressured.

If something sounds too good to be true, you can almost always assume that it is. Of course everyone wants a deal, but when it comes to the security of your home or business, a deal could end up costing you everything.

Remember you are hiring a security systems company to keep your home and family secure. Before you hire anyone, make sure that you do your research, understand the costs involved, don’t succumb to high-pressure tactics, and make an informed choice with the company that has the latest in technology. If you go about choosing the right way, you can sleep well at night knowing that you, and everything you love, are protected.

Crime on the Rise: Home Security Strategies for Concerned Homeowners

You can sometimes read the latest crime statistics and feel like they don’t really affect you but the figures can soon become very real when your home is targeted by burglars and crime casts a shadow and creates feelings of insecurity.

Even quiet and respectable neighborhoods are witnessing a rise in crime, so you need to adopt some sensible strategies to protect your family and your home if you are concerned that you might be vulnerable.

Here are some tips to help keep your home secure, including an insight into how to identify weak spots that thieves could target, how to strengthen windows and doors, plus a suggestion to be social media savvy.

Secured Door

Pinpoint vulnerabilities

About two million homes are burgled throughout the country every year which equates to someone’s property being violated every sixteen seconds or so, so there is no room for complacency or misplaced belief that your property is safe from this threat.

A good way of giving yourself some extra peace of mind is to choose the right security system for your home in order to give you good options in terms of monitoring activity 24/7.

In addition, you can take some simple steps to deter burglars by identifying potential vulnerabilities, such as an entry point in a blind spot, and then taking action to improve security in these areas.

Burglars don’t like to be seen, so installing outside security lighting is a no-brainer for dissuading thieves who prefer to work under the cover of dark.

Take a walk around your home and try to adopt the mindset of a burglar to see how you might break in with the minimum of fuss. If you find some vulnerability you can be sure that an intruder will do so too.

Review the strength of your doors and windows

Burglars will often target properties where they can make a quick and easy entry and be in and out in a matter of minutes.

One of the ways they do this is to look for doors and windows that have minimal security resistance. A poor quality back door won’t offer much defense against a sharp blow to force it open and the same applies to a window that doesn’t have any lock on it.

Any exterior doors should ideally have deadbolt locks of at least one-inch thickness or more. A cheaper spring latch lock doesn’t provide the same level of security protection and it is always worth spending a bit extra on a better quality deadbolt system.

Even a deadbolt mechanism is not guaranteed to prevent a determined intruder from forcing their way into your home, as some heavy well-aimed blows cold shatter doorjambs and even split the door itself.

As an extra precaution, you might want to use some strategically placed metal bars to prevent a forced entry.

Keep a low profile

Many of us have a social media profile and we often share news of an upcoming event like a vacation, but be wary of your privacy settings as burglars trawl these sites for clues on who might be away from their home.

If you leave too much information around in a public place there is every chance that this could be used to target your home.

Be careful about who you tell your holiday plans to and try not to leave any obvious signs at home, by canceling any deliveries that might sit on the porch while you are away.

 

6 Unusual Home Security Tips Every Homeowner Must Know

If you live in a community or neighborhood where home invasion and burglary is prevalent, home security must be your top priority. Aside from following the usual security measures like installing CCTV cameras, alarm systems etc., you must also do “a little more extra” to keep your home safer against thieves and criminals.

Below are some unusual yet very effective home security tips that can surely make your home tougher to break into.

Home Keys and Security

Relocate your alarm system keypad.

Since most alarm pads are placed or installed near common entrances such as the front and back door, burglars will find it easy to turn off. They know exactly where to look at once they break into your home. If you can place it out of the common areas and out of plain sight, much better. If not, just make sure that it can’t be easily seen from the outside through your windows. This little trick can easily deter any kinds or forms of home invasion.

Use key lock box

If you have no choice but to leave spare key outside of your home, use a lock box instead of leaving it under the mat, a flower pot or a fake rock. Check out those lock boxes that realtors use and have it installed in your home. Just make sure that nobody will see your combination code when you enter it to get your spare key.

Take advantage of thorny plants

Aside from improving the appeal of your home, plants can also become an effective defense system against thieves. Consider planting thorny plants or vines in areas where you don’t want any stranger to access. For example, consider planting a thorny shrub under the windows of your room. It might not stop them totally from climbing up your windows but still, thieves will find it tougher to get inside your home.

Don’t put all valuables in your master bedroom

The number one room that burglars look into immediately upon entering your home is the master bedroom. So it’s highly advisable to keep some of your valuables away from this room. Hide your jewelries at unexpected places like the kid’s bedroom. Store your emergency stash or cash at one cabinet of your laundry room. Avoid usual hiding spots like under mattresses, behind pictures and paintings and more.

Use a decoy

If burglary is really too common in your area (and you can’t move out yet), then consider using a decoy. Buy a small decoy safe to take burglar’s attention away from the real one. Place this decoy somewhere at your bedroom. If thieves see this, they will surely carry it out and leave the place immediately (robbers wanted to get in and out as fast as possible) without checking the items inside of it. Just make sure to lock the decoy safe and put some fake items on it, like fake jewelries so if ever they shake it, they’ll know that something is hidden inside of it.

Keep your car keys within arm’s reach

Car key fobs can be an effective alarm system nowadays. Since they are now installed with panic button, you can easily press it once you see or hear something unusual within your property. The sound or alarm that your car will create can stop potential thieves from entering your home.

And here’s a Home Security Life Hacks video if the above given tips doesn’t satisfy you.

5 Safety Tips and Advice for Your Next Craigslist House Hunt

Craigslist remains the biggest and dominant online classified website around the USA. It’s one of the top websites that people usually visits when they are looking for a specific item or stuff available around their neighborhood. It’s also one of the top websites that most renters use in searching their next apartment or place to call home.

Being the one of the go-to-websites of most consumers with their money readily available, it also became a playing field of scammers, fraudsters and bad people. No matter how hard the network tries to fight against these evil-doers, they always and they can pop-out anytime they wanted too.

5-safety-tips-and-advice-for-your-next-craigslist-house-hunt

But this didn’t mean that they are unavoidable. Craigslist itself has a full page dedicated to avoiding scams and how to combat and report fraud attempts. It’s a truly helpful article that every consumer must read before pulling out their hard earned money.

And if you are a first time renter or soon-to-be tenant looking for a place to call home, here are few tips and safety advice that can help you.

Don’t Wire Funds

Don’t ever wire funds (e.g. Western Union) to anyone in order to secure the property for rent. If the listings or the poster of the ads asks you to, it’s 99.9% a scam.  Remember, Craigslist won’t get involved and will never be involved in any transaction that you, “the renter” and the “property owner” will do. If a fee is really needed for you to secure the house or apartment, much better to visit the property in person, deal face to face and ask for a receipt for your payment.

Don’t Give Out Financial Info

Don’t give out your bank account details, social security number and other financial details (payslip, income tax return info, etc) even the listings asked you to do so. If there’s a need for it for some reason, better bring the papers personally to the property manager or landlord of your chosen place. This way, you’ll meet the person behind the ads face to face and you can be sure that all the things said at the property listings are true and correct.

Verify the Availability of the Property

There are lots of reported scams that involve a middleman. Most people calls this as the middleman scam wherein a scammer pretends to be the authorized person to handle, manage and accept payments for a certain property available for rent.  They typically use a real photo of the property, photos of the owners as well and other proof that the property indeed exist. To avoid this kind of scam, call the real owners of the property and tell them the name of the person who is acting as the middleman. This way, you’ll know if they are truly an authorized representative or not.

Check The Property With A Friend

If you will check the listed property in person and the location is somewhat new to you, take a friend along. Aside from the added protection, your friend can give you an honest opinion about the property. For more rental property viewing tips, check out this link.

If The Listing Sounds Too Good To Be True, Stay Away From It!

If the listed property looks so good and sounds so amazing but the price doesn’t really equate into it, better think! If this one is not a scam, most probably it’s a deceptive listing with hidden charges and fees.

Keep Your House Safe for Your Kids At All Times By Following These Childproofing Tips and Advice

Safety and security is truly important inside the house. Aside from securing the house against potential break-ins or home invasions, you must also make sure that the place you live is safe for a child or for a baby to roam around.

Child-proofing or baby-proofing the house should be your number one concern if you have little kids. Below are some tips and advice that can definitely help making each and every room safe for your child.

childproofing

Use cordless shades or cord cleats to keep blinds safe for your child. This can reduce child strangulation hazards.

Cushion edges of your coffee table, TV stands and any other sharp corners with bumpers. Scan your room and make sure that all corners that are potential hazards are already taken care of.

Totally remove any breakable stuff or items out of your child’s view. Removing them out of their reach is sometimes not enough so make sure that they won’t see any of those easy-to-break items easily.

Secure tall furniture and bookshelves to the wall with bolts or locking straps. This can help keep tall furniture from falling over once your child decided to climb over.

Secure TVs at your wall. If not possible, keep the TV set behind closed doors.

Keep your houseplants out of your child’s reach or sight. The mud at your flower or plant pots is a child magnet so make sure to secure them at all times.

Install baby gates at your stairs if your home does have two or more floors.

Install guard door at your fireplace.

Install stove knob covers. Use appliance lock as well. Installing a stove guard or rails is also highly recommended.

Use and install latches and locks at your under sink cabinets where cleaning products are usually placed. Keep it secured at all times to prevent accidents.

Use non-slip mats in and out of the tub and hard-surface floors near the bathroom. Child naturally runs around at all times so prevent them from slipping by using non-slip mats.

Keep medicines and supplements out of your kid’s sight and reach. You can also use medicine boxes with safety locks.

The tips above can reduce and totally eliminate home hazards. Keep your kids safe and sound by following these advice.

Must Know Tips for Staying Safe When Renting Alone

Living alone in a neighborhood or community you barely know is quite uncomfortable.  Below are some practical tips and advice that can help address your concern in terms of safety, security and comfort.

Change Door Locks

This is a must and the very first step you must do in terms of safety and security. Upon moving in to your new home, see to it that you change each and every door locks. This can give you assurance that only you have the direct access to your doors and no other people can easily get in at any given time.

Door Metal Lock

Get a Dog

If you are allowed to bring in a pet or two, by all means get a dog. Having a dog around can give you some peace of mind knowing that it can protect you and your home from outsiders that are trying to break in. Their senses and natural instinct can become your instant alarm most especially when you are sleeping.

Study the Neighborhood

If you can, walk around the neighborhood and try to get a feel of what’s living in the community feels like at day and at night. Doing this can give you a general overview of the type of people you will usually encounter day-in and out.

If you can take things further, you can even visit nearby police precinct or station and ask about how safe the community is.

Security Safety

Befriend Some Neighbors

If you are new to the neighborhood, it’s a must that you befriend few of your neighbors. This way, you can ask them few stories about the community itself and the house you are renting right now. Befriending some of them can also help you out in case of emergency cases.

Request for Security Inspection

Ask a local police or someone who is an expert at home security to inspect and identify the areas in your home that is vulnerable to criminals. Ask them for ideas and advice on how you can better protect yourself and your home from burglars.

home security officers

Important Tips:

Remove all expensive items that can be easily seen outside your home or through your window.

Remove all blind spots near our within your home. Overgrown shrubs can become burglar-friendly places if not addressed.

For more security tips and advice when leaving alone, visit this page from hotpads.com.

Image License: CC0 Public Domain / PIXABAY.COM

Five Home Security Tips That Every Renter Must Know About

No matter where you live or how secured your place is, crime and accidents might just happen. To better protect yourself and your properties, check out these security tips we laid out.

Home Security Tips

Protect doors and windows. Imagine yourself as a burglar and think of how easy or difficult it would be to break into your home. If you were locked out of your house, would you be able to get in? Take a walk around your home and look for areas of entry that could be easy access for burglars. In addition, change your locks when you move into a new house and any time you lose a key.

Burglar

Let there be light. When you’re away from home, leave some lights on that can be seen from the street. If you’re going to be away for an extended time, use timers that turn on and off intermittently. Lights that stay on and don’t change can actually be a signal to burglars that no one is home.

Light

Secure the outside of your home. Install drapes or blinds on all lower level windows and doors so that would-be thieves can’t see inside to assess expensive items like computers and televisions; however, don’t obscure doors and windows completely with heavy trees and shrubs.

Secure the outside of your home

Keep your plans private. You may be looking forward to your upcoming vacation, but wait until you’re back to share your plans publicly. It’s okay to share with your close friends and family that you’ll be out of town, but talking to your carpet installer, hairdresser, or even supermarket checkout clerk could be dangerous.

Keep your plans private

Consider installing a home security system. According to the Electronic Security Association, 9 out of 10 convicted burglars say they would avoid a home with a security system. And modern security systems actually offer much more than just security. Many systems, now have remote access capabilities, allowing you to arm and disarm your system, turn lights on and off and even check your security camera monitors right from your smartphone.

Consider installing a home security system.

Source: libertymutual.com

Home Security and Protection for Renters

When you rent a house or when you moved in into your new home, you always have to think about the safety and security of you and your family first and foremost. You must (if you are allowed by the landlord to do so) change the locks and door knobs of each and every door.  If you can, you should also put few CCTVs in place for added security.

Being safe and secured should always be your number one priority at home. Here’s some more info about being safe no matter where you are located.

Be Safe No Matter Where You Rent
Be Safe No Matter Where You Rent

 

Being Secured in Your Rented House: Security Tips and Tricks

It is the dream of everyone of us to live in a safe house. This is why it is best that you choose a perfect area for your house for rent. However, it is still a must that you carry out some precautionary measures in order to make your rented home as safe as possible. Here are some tips that you can try.

Home Safety

Install various sensor lights at home.

These days, there are outdoor lights which will light up once it detects any motion around the house. It is highly recommended that you install this type of lights in your garden, garage and of course, near the gate. A lot of people tend to place these lights in every corner of the house. However, experts say that this should be placed on key areas only.

Install smoke detectors and have fire extinguishers ready.

Of course, fires are unexpected occurrences. That is why you must always be ready for it. By placing smoke detectors as well as fire extinguishers in your home, you will surely be taking a big step in the right direction. This is one way to help ensure that the lives of your family members are safe and sound. Smoke detectors will warn any one in the house if a smoke is building up in a certain area of the house. In this way, you can act accordingly in the fastest way possible. On the other hand, fire extinguishers can help in preventing the fire from spreading in your home. It will certainly help prevent further damage in your home.

Trim tree branches around your house for rent.

These days, houses for rent are designed with various decorative trees around it. This is to make the house look a lot pleasing and welcoming to the eye. If your house for rent is like this, it is a must that you allocate some time in trimming the branches on a regular basis. When you do this, you will keep it off your power lines. Plus, this can also lead to minimal damages in your home. Of course, you do not have to do it on your own, you can always seek the services of a professional tree trimmer.

Utilize covert cameras.

These days, almost all houses for rent are equipped with a spy camera. However, it is up to you to install it and connect it in the PC you have at home. By doing this, you can get to have a good look at the outside of your home without actually having to go out. The best thing about this is the fact that you can take a good look at the previous recordings during the time you were not at home.

The tips given above are proven safe and effective. Carry all these out and help save your life and your family members’ as well.

Image License: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay / bohed