Monthly Archives: May 2014

Breaking Into Your Own Home – How to Find the Weak Spots

Processed by: Helicon Filter;In order to beat the burglars, you must think like a burglar. No, you don’t need to don a ski mask and prowl through the neighborhood; you just need to meticulously make your way through the interior and exterior of your home in search of weaknesses and vulnerabilities, much as a burglar would do. By auditing your home from the perspective of a home invader, you can better protect it from all angles and secure your loved ones and personal property.

Explore the Perimeter

Take a walk along the perimeter of your home. If you were a burglar, how might you enter? Are any of the doors unlocked? How about the windows? In all sincerity, how easily will your windows open from the outside, even when the latch is theoretically holding them in place (the answer may surprise you). If your present locks aren’t doing the trick, it may be time to add some window bars. As you gaze into your windows, are your valuables in plain sight? TVs? Gaming consoles? Computer equipment? If so, you would be wise to close your blinds when leaving the house. Criminals love to window shop.

Once you’ve thoroughly circled your home in search of weaknesses, take a few steps back. Are there any clues that would indicate the presence of an alarm system? Perhaps a yard sign or window decal? The majority of burglars are deterred by the mere presence of an alarm system, so you want to make it very clear that your home is armed…even if you don’t actually have an alarm system in place. Dummy cameras also make very effective deterrents. You want to give burglars a reason to turn the other way before they enter step up to your porch.

1300786_51861087Explore the Interior

Now that you’ve finished your perimeter audit, step inside your home. Unfortunately, you can’t guarantee that you’ll never be burglarized; you can only minimize the odds. A skilled or determined burglar may still make their way inside, even if they have to break a window, so it’s important to assess your home’s interior as well. The goal here is to protect your most treasured valuables. Most criminals will be in and out in under 10 minutes, and will grab whatever is convenient.

So when walking through your home, do you see anything valuable and convenient in plain sight? Place cash, personal information and small valuables in heavy safes, and keep the safe in a discreet location. You can also use diversion safes to hide small valuables while still allowing for easy access. Consider concealing some of your valuables in your kitchen. Believe it or not, burglars seldom enter the kitchen, due to its inconvenient location within the home and its perceived absence of desirable goods.

Secure Your Home

Finally, keep your alarm system armed, especially at night and when you’re away. If you don’t already have a home security system, consider purchasing one today. It’s one of the best lines of defense you can have against robbery and theft. If you’re concerned about the cost, check out the wide selection at Home Security Store. We offer the best selection of DIY systems at the most affordable prices, all from top brands like Visonic, DSC and Honeywell. You can’t put a price on quality home security, but that doesn’t mean you should have to pay a fortune to protect yourself and your family. 

Travel Security Tips

summer travel tpisYou have been working hard all year, and now it’s time to start planning that exciting summer getaway. Maybe you’ll take a Hawaiian cruise, or perhaps a romantic trip to Paris. Whatever destination you choose, make sure to bring plenty of sunblock, take lots of photos, and most importantly, be mindful of your security needs. The excitement of an exotic retreat tends to distract us from the important practical matters of safety and security, so before you race to the terminal shouting “Au Revoir,” consider a few important preparative tips.

Be Mindful of Social Media

The excitement and anticipation of an upcoming getaway can be hazardous to the health of your home. After all, you don’t want to keep the magic to yourself. You want to share your enthusiasm with the world. Tweets, status updates, insta-whatevers…it’s very important that the people in your life be made aware of your eagerness and good fortune. There’s just one problem. Research shows that nearly 80 percent of burglars use social media to scope out potential victims. So if you use Cyberspace to boast of your big trip to Idaho (hey, there are plenty of things to see in Idaho), you may just attract an unwanted element to your home while you’re away. Wait until you return, and then you can post all of the photos, brags and hashtags you want.

Set Your Alarm

And while we’re talking about the home, let’s not forget the importance of having a quality home security system. If you don’t already have one, and you plan to leave your home completely unattended, now would be a good time to start shopping around for an alarm system. Vacant homes are three times more likely to be invaded if they lack a quality alarm system, so don’t underestimate the extraordinary value of this oft-overlooked household essential.

travel-safety-tipsBe Prepared

If you’re just heading from Los Angeles to Las Vegas for a few days, you can ignore this section for the most part, but if you’re planning to travel abroad, you now have some very important preparations to make. First, visit the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website to learn important information about your destination, complete with travel alerts and safety tips. Then visit the CDC Travelers’ Health web page for valuable information relating to important vaccines and medicines. Make sure to remember your passport, visas, medications and first aid, and determine whether you’ll need health insurance to cover your time overseas.

Lock up Your Valuables

Ideally, you’ll want to leave your valuables at home, but if you do travel with certain desirable goods like jewelry or electronics, make sure to lock them up whenever they’re not on your person. If your hotel room, cabin or timeshare property doesn’t have a safe, you can use affordable diversion safes to conceal your property. It’s important to be proactive about protecting what’s yours, because American tourists are viewed as optimal targets by thieves in many parts of the world. Many of these thieves associate Americans with wealth, and that’s just one more reason while you’re better off leaving your valuables at home. By flaunting your extravagances (no matter how meager they may seem to you), you may attract criminals like a magnet.

Exercise Common Sense

Finally, a few words about personal safety. Hopefully, much of this will sound like common sense, but it’s certainly important to emphasize. Don’t travel alone if you can avoid it, take time to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your destination, heed any safety warnings provided to you by the Department of State or the local tourism authority, and only use authorized public transportation and officially marked taxi cabs. Most importantly, have a great time and try to enjoy the breathtaking sunsets – unless, of course, you’re visiting Seattle, in which case, enjoy the coffee.