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Be prepared: Five tips to make your home more secure

These days, soaking in daily (or hourly) news can make the world feel like a scary place. We have home security systems, smart doorbells and smart locks, which are good things. At the other end of the spectrum, our close-knit communities can feel safe, which can lead to complacency. Many of us can recall growing up in a home where the doors were never locked, and it felt like everybody knew everybody.

In either case, assessing your home’s overall security (or lack thereof) is a good idea. Here are five safety tips to help make your home more secure:

Assess entry points
Take a tour of the outside of your home and think like a burglar. Consider which windows and doors would be easy to break or climb through. Then, look through the windows and see if expensive items are on display. Make sure each window and door can lock and draw curtains or close blinds when you are not home.

Lock second-floor windows and doors
“Second-story men” are burglars who prefer to break into a home on an upper story because they know that most homeowners do not tend to lock upstairs windows and doors (e.g., the door off a deck). Be sure to lock them before you leave. In addition, lock up any ladders you keep outside.

Lock the door to the garage
Although it is easy to lock when you are inside your house but more of a pain to unlock when returning home, always lock the door between your garage and your home. Many people do not lock this door when they are away since the garage door is shut. However, a garage door is relatively easy to open. Home invaders can simply pry it open or use a factory-setting opener.

Update your garage code
Change your garage code at random intervals instead of on a predictable schedule, such as when the clock changes due to daylight saving time. (Moving the clock up or back an hour is a great time to check the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, however.)

Do not forget sliding doors
A bar inserted at the base of a sliding door is an inexpensive safeguard. This ensures that sliding glass windows cannot be opened or jimmied without breaking the glass. This will frustrate invaders and the sound of breaking glass can buy you time to call for help.

Taking the time to think like a burglar and checking your home’s entry points can help keep you and your family safe.



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