With the Time Change Comes a Refresher on Your Home Security and Safety by Alina Lopez
With the Time Change Comes a Refresher on Your Home Security and Safety
On March 14, we set our clocks forward in observance of daylight savings time. This is a good opportunity to review a few safety measures around your home. Take a few minutes to inspect your property from being accident prone or to check any weak spots in your home security. Once the problematic areas have been identified, correct them and you can prevent accidents or criminal activity from occurring in your future.
Crime prevention and safety are like an onion; they have multiple layers to get to the core.
Use this following checklist as a guide to examine your home security.
- Do you have emergency contact numbers in an accessible area?
- Make sure to replace batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detector devices.
- Do you have a fire extinguisher and is it ready to use in the event of a fire?
- Are all medicines kept in locked cabinets and out of the reach of children?
- Are exterior doors made of solid wood or of metal clad? As added security, use strong hinges on the inside of the door with non-removable or hidden pins.
- Use good quality locks on doors and deadbolt locks that have a minimum one inch throw.
- Secure sliding glass doors with auxiliary locks or pins and screws in the tracks to prevent the removal of doors. Install a Charlie bar or similar device such as a broomstick or piece of wood in the tracks so that doors can’t be lifted off their tracks.
- Think about installing impact glass on windows. Although costly, they provide protection not only from hurricane force winds, but can also act as a deterrent to a burglar. If impact windows are not in your budget, remember there are tricks to secure the different styles you currently have.
- Have adequate lighting illuminating all entrances to your home. Some lights should be on at all times during the night but you should also have motion detector lights throughout the property, like on the sides of the house and backyard.
- Landscape not only serves as aesthetics for your home, but also as a method in curtailing crime. Trim shrubbery which can act as a hiding place for thieves. Cut back limbs that can aid thieves into climbing windows (for multi level homes). Landscape should provide maximum visibility to and from your home.
- Consider installing an alarm system that is monitored by a central monitoring agency. Also make sure the alarm system has an external audible alarm.
- Security cameras placed around the property can act as a deterrent against a thief, but keep in mind that cameras can be a false sense of security if they’re not constantly monitored, as it has been shown that some burglars will hide their face with baseball caps or face coverings and bypass the cameras.
- Think about getting a dog. Barking dogs are a great deterrent against intruders. Just make sure Fido isn’t the friendly type who will roll over for treats and pets at any given moment!
- Have you given thought to starting a neighborhood watch group if there isn’t an active one already? Join the local group if there is one and if not, start a group of your own. There is no better crime prevention tactic than human interaction.
These tips are just skimming the surface of home burglary prevention and safety, but using them as a guide will greatly reduce the chances of becoming another statistic.
Miami Dade Police Department, as well as other local law enforcement agencies, provide home security surveys that can be more specific to your needs.
For more information on these services, contact Citizens’ Crime Watch at 305-470-1670.
Until next time, be aware, make good choices, and stay safe!
Written by Alina Lopez