Prevent a Break-in: Beware of Dog Signs and Other DIY Projects

May 24th, 2013 | By | Category: Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

Seniors Fear Break-Ins

Property crimes continue to be on the rise, according to FBI statistics, and as seniors, it’s tough not to feel more vulnerable to a break-in. There is plenty you can do as a homeowner to protect your domain. Here are six easy DIY projects that you can take care of this weekend to thwart thieves and protect your property:

Install Heavy-duty Dead Bolts

If you don’t already have dead bolts on all exterior doors of your house, add them. For maximum protection, WebMD recommends getting dead bolts with an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) grade 1 rating. To test the durability of your dead bolts, make sure they’re at least an inch long. If they’re not, replace them.

Trim Shrubbery

You may love those tall hedges and dense trees because of the privacy they provide, but remember, crooks love them for the same reason. Thick greenery provides cover for burglars, allowing them to stay out of sight from neighbors and passersby. Trim all shrubbery and trees to waist height to prevent anyone from sneaking around your house unnoticed. Consider getting rid of any greenery that obstructs the street view of your front door, which can be a hiding spot for criminals.Property crimes continue to be on the rise, according to FBI statistics, and as seniors, it’s tough not to feel more vulnerable to a break-in.

Add an Alarm

According to a home burglary study conducted at Temple University, houses with home security systems are three times less likely to be burglarized than those without alarm systems. Opt for a security system that doesn’t require professional installation. Many alarms can be installed with a few basic tools in less than an hour. Be sure to put out any stickers or signage that comes with your alarm. Place stickers on prominent windows near the front and back door so that burglars know your home is secure.

Secure Windows

Add locks to all windows if you don’t already have them. If you have sash windows, consider installing window pins to prevent a burglar from easily prying a window open. Sliding glass doors and windows should be secured with bar locks.

Start a Neighborhood Watch Program

Talk to your police department about starting a Neighborhood Watch program in your area. Pass out fliers and invite neighbors to join in the discussion. The National Crime Prevention Council suggests working with small business to repair rundown storefronts, clean up littered streets and create jobs for youth in the area. Seniors who rarely leave their homes could be “window watchers” who look out for unusual activities in the neighborhood and report them when necessary.

Install Security Cameras

The Washington Post notes that more than 56 percent of intruders enter through the front or back doors. To deter burglars, install a security camera over each door in a highly visible place. If security cameras don’t fit your budget, suggest that you install an old web cam to produce the same effect. It doesn’t have to work; as long as it looks like a camera it can fool thieves. Something as simple as a scary beware of dog sign can also thwart thieves, even if you are pet-less.

Illuminate the Yard

Install motion-sensor lights to help alert you when anyone is in your yard after dark. Add lighting near all entry points, as well as blind spots such as the side yard or in secluded areas of the property. Skip compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs in favor of standard bulbs. The warm-up time required for CFLs isn’t conducive to this type of usage.

Gary Clement: Gary is a freelance writer who lives in Arkansas.

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