GDA Fox 5 2017–04–04 Tuesday FIVE QUICK WAYS to MAKE YOUR HOME SAFER By John Adams
After a break-in, your home sweet home never quite feels entirely safe again. You feel violated - you feel vulnerable…www.fox5atlanta.com
If you’ve never experienced it, pray that you never do.
After a break-in, your home sweet home never quite feels entirely safe again. You feel violated — you feel vulnerable. It is not unusual for victims to be traumatized for months, even though the majority of break-ins occur when no one is at home.
To make matters worse, it happens over two million times a year. And only 13% of perpetrators are caught, so the chance of a recovery are slim to none.
Is there anything YOU can do TODAY to make your chances of being a burglary victim drop dramatically?
Here with the answers is our own Fox5 Real Estate expert JOHN ADAMS.
Q: This is sort of scary just to talk about. If it’s going to happen over two million times this year, is there really any way to make your home “break-in proof”?
A: No, my research shows that crooks can break into almost any house, given sufficient motivation and enough time. But making your house burglar-proof is not the goal. It is sufficient to make your house the least attractive to the thief, so that they will simply move on to another house in another location.
Q: That hardly seems fair to your neighbors.
A: The reality is that YOU are responsible for YOUR home security, and your neighbor is responsible for HIS. You can certainly offer to give him advice, but it’s up to him, not you, to make his home safer.
Q: So is there anything we can do to make our home less attractive to the thief?
A: Yes, I have researched five steps that are quick, cheap, and extremely effective at warding off home break-ins.
Q: What’s first?
A: Thieves are MUCH less likely to break into homes with a real security system. So the first step is to make it look like YOU have a serious professional security system, whether you do or not.
Q: What do you mean?
A: Security systems can be quite expensive. But the number one sign of a powerful security system is CLOSED CIRCUIT VIDEO surveillance, and you can duplicate that for a grand total of $28.
Q: You mean $28 month?
A: No, I mean $28 period.
These simulated closed circuit cameras are actually manufactured for REAL security systems that cost hundreds of bucks plus monthly monitoring fees. But you can buy the external housing and lens for just $7, and best of all, they have a flashing red light just to prove they are real.
Q: But they’re not?
A: Well, the flashing red light is real. The crook is not sure about the rest, and it’s just not worth the risk to find out. Tests show that these types of simulated cameras are very effective, and the batteries last about 6 months. It takes about 5 minutes to mount inside or outside your house. Money well spent.
Q: OK, what is #2 on your list?
A: Most crooks want to avoid any human contact if at all possible. The average crook only spends a few minutes inside a residence and hopes to grab cash, jewelry, drugs or electronics fast then get out safe. So if it looks like you are home AND awake, he is MUCH more likely to skip your house.
Q: But what if I am NOT home and awake?
A: Then just make it look like you are watching television. This is a SIMULATED TV VIEWING projector, and it is designed to project the same kind of light your expect from a 42” flat screen digital TV.
Q: You’re kidding. Does it work?
A: Simply remarkable. It is programmed to project random colors and brightnesses, then go to a commercial, and change colors to black & white for a minute, then go back to color, then simulate motion. And because it is LED, it uses almost NO power. It is also programmed to turn on a dusk, and run for 4 or 8 hours, then turn off. Again, remarkably effective, only $20 bucks.
By the way, if you are typically gone during the day, run a loud radio on a timer. Again, it deters daytime breakins and costs almost nothing.
Q: WOW! Ok, what’s number three?
A: Many home break ins occur between 10pm and 3am. So install motion sensor lights: Light is a great deterrent for nighttime break-ins.
If you install motion sensors on outdoor lights that turn on automatically if someone triggers them, the burglar gets worried and will probably move on to another house.
I have mine hard-wired in, but they have some that are actually solar powered LEDs so you don’t even need a plug. Under $30!
Q: Number 4?
A: Be a good neighbor! Neighbors play a key role in preventing break-ins because a neighbor often will see something out of the ordinary happening. Remind your entire neighborhood: IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING! The police are happy to respond to all calls. Let THEM decide if there is or is NOT a problem. You can even start a neighborhood watch group!
Q: Always good advice. And finally, tip number five?
A: You may not believe this, but 40 percent of all break ins occur WITHOUT the use of force. People mean well, but they forget to lock their windows and doors.
Get in the habit of locking all windows and doors every time you use them. I know it’s just common sense, but it’s something we can all do, and it just may discourage a kid from trying to come in your house on a dare.
Q: Anything else?
A: One more thought: Most local police departments are happy to send an officer to your home to evaluate your security level and make suggestions. The service is usually free, and well worth your time.
THE BOTTOM LINE: You can’t make your home into an impregnable fortress of security — it just won’t work, but there are simple and cheap ways to make your home unattractive to burglars!