Recent Break-Ins and Protecting Your Property

June 3, 2016

With our active May having many break-ins, there have been numerous suggestions through emails and texts on how to secure your home. One of the most complete web site articles I have found was posted by the Tucson Police Department. Their Home Security Survey covers many safety features with illustrations that can be accomplished by a handy resident, and some that may require the assistance of a professional.

Click to Download the Home Security Survey

Here are a few of their suggestions, and some that I have personally installed. I am not endorsing any particular brand or procedure as each of you will need to decide what is right for you. Refer to the web site noted above for the complete article.

  • Drill a small hole through the window frame and through the sliding window frame and use a nail to lock both together.
  • Add additional dead bolt door locks to entry doors. They come with a twist knob or keyed.  If keyed, be sure the key location is known to all family members so in case of an emergency, the door can be unlocked for escape. There are push deadbolts that install near the bottom of the door and engage a hole in the floor to further strengthen against door kick in.
  • Install motion activated outdoor lights.
  • Add locks to gates
  • Cut back tall landscaping near windows and doorways.
  • Install an alarm system and then use it faithfully. They come with a local alarm or monitored alarm. Simpli-Safe has a system that you order what devices you want (door/window sensors, smoke detector), they ship to you, and you install. There are several commercially installed systems also such as ADT, with a monthly fee.
  • Work with your neighbors to watch after each other.
  • Home Depot sells an on/off switch with a remote control. It plugs into a socket, and your lights plug into the sensor. Use the remote to turn on and off the lights either inside or outside. I know of one installation where the resident installed several of these sensors, and with the push of one button, they can instantly light three sides of a detached garage, and all four sides of the house using high intensity LED spot lights. They stay on until you turn them off. The sensors come in 5 different codes, so make sure you buy the same code for all sensors or you’ll have many buttons to push.
  • There are many new electronic apps and gadgets that can be used also. The newest one is called THE RING. It installs in place of your standard doorbell. When someone rings the bell, a camera and microphone turn on and at the same time shows up on your cell phone. You can see and converse with the person at the front door and never have to open the door. It works also if you are on the beach in Santa Cruz, and the person never knows you aren’t inside.
  • Visit a place like the SPY STORE in Reno, or go online, as there are many interesting clandestine gadgets to help make your home more secure such as hidden cameras and remote viewing options.

The list goes on, but I’m sure many of you have your own devices that work equally well. Just remember to USE THEM if only leaving for a short time. Statistics say a burglar is in a home less than five minutes.

~ Leon Mills, Neighborhood Watch, June 2016