General Tips

At Home

Use locks all the time. If there is no glass in your front door, install a peep-hold viewer and use it before opening the door to anyone. Only open doors to strangers when necessary, and demand identification from utility company and repair personnel before admitting them.

Taking Security on the Road

When traveling, there is a lot more to security than the “right” brand of traveler’s checks. Many vacations have been cut short by such man-made disasters as stolen cars and ransacked hotel rooms.

Wherever you go, always lock your car.

When parking, avoid dark, deserted areas and always check the back seat before reentering your car.

Try to avoid looking like a tourist. You can’t do anything about out-of-state plates, but you can keep valuables out of sight and guide maps and travel brochures.

Always arrange your things in motel rooms so that you can tell if anything is missing. Never leave valuables in motel rooms and always keep the door double-locked.

Safety on the Street

Security shouldn’t stop when you leave your home. There are steps you can take to increase your safety on the street as well. When walking outside, remember that thieves and muggers are looking for the greatest reward for the least effort. Don’t make yourself an attractive target by flashing cash or valuables in public.

Appearances Count. If you must walk down a dark, deserted street, don’t display a $5,000 watch on your wrist or expensive jewelry around your neck. Do walk with a quick, confident step and be aware of your surroundings. On city streets, walk on the curb-side of the sidewalk to avoid becoming a target for someone waiting in an alley or doorway.

Outdoor Security and General Tips

There are a number of simple steps we all can take that will make the area just outside our home considerably safer. The simplest is to always make it appear that the home is occupied by security-minded people. Lawns should be neatly mowed at all times and shrubbery trimmed. Large bushes, especially if near doors and windows, give unwelcome visitors a place to hide from passersby and a way to mask their activities. Overgrown lawns, as well as accumulated mail, flyers and newspaper deliveries, by suggesting that homeowners may be away, invite burglary and vandalism.

Outdoor Lights Repel Intruders

Outdoor lights that come on at dusk are an excellent investment in home security. Intruders always prefer the concealment that darkness provides. Such lights range from wired systems operated by timers to simple cordless models powered by solar cells and operated by individual photocells that respond to ambient light. Some lights use passive infrared sensors that turn the light on when anyone approaches. Variable sensitivity allows these lights to be adjusted so that they are not activated by small animals. The more elaborate systems incorporate alarms that are triggered if anyone tampers with a light.

Gates and Fences – First Line of Defense

Fences and gates can provide a contribution to home security. Make sure fences are high enough and strong enough to serve as an effective deterrent and see that all gates are equipped with locks that are as secure as those on your front door. That means pin tumbler locks with at least five tumblers and a hardened steel deadbolt. Or, if you prefer, your gates can be equipped with suitable padlocks.