Keeping Burglars Away

Economic downturns are often accompanied by rises in crime rates, making a review of security tips a timely issue. We all know most of these tips, but an extra ounce of prevention and periodic checks can keep you safe.

Check your locks on windows and doors, making sure they are in good working order and strong enough to withstand some force. Then, don't forget to use them. Professional alarm services are almost ubiquitous, but remember to post signage for your service conspicuously.

Bright lights are a great deterrent as thieves operate best in the shadows. Use outdoor lighting and timers indoors and out along with motion detectors.

Trim your trees and shrubs away from your home. They make great hiding places near doors and windows and also can be used to climb into and out of your house or hide valuables being stolen.

If you use a safe in your home be sure it's secured to the floor. Remember the old adage, "Thieves will take anything not bolted down." Or use a bank vault or safe deposit box.

Mark up your merchandise with identifying numbers (or make note of those already there). Use of an engraving or marking bit to place serial numbers on your valuables makes them harder to sell, and less attractive to steal.

If you're away from home, leave your car in the driveway and your valuables within it out of sight. Also, have your mail held at the post office or forwarded, or have a neighbor pick up mail, your daily paper and packages and keep an eye on your home.

If you arrive home and think you've been burglarized call the police and do not enter your home until they're arrived. If you're home and think an intruder is in or around your home, get out if you can to safety and, again, call the police.

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