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Security Port
Contains relevant information that pertains to security related issues and solutions.

Security Port

Home Security - Keep Your Family Secure

Keep Your Home Secure
Tips to make sure that your family is safe at home and while traveling

Always lock all outside doors and windows when you go out, even if you are only going to be away for 10 minutes. Lock your external garage or garden shed with a quality key-operated lock or padlock. If you are in the garden or watching TV, lock up parts of the house you can't keep an eye on. Lock away ladders, garden tools and bicycles. Close and lock your doors and windows.

When at a hotel before dismissing the porter always inspect the door lock, locks on sliding glass doors, optical viewer, door chain, guest's room safe, deadlock bolt on inter-connecting suite doors, and the telephone. Make sure your room has a peephole and deadbolt lock on the door and window locks... and use them.

Always keep in mind nails, screws, padlocks, door and window locks, grates, bars and bolts can increase the amount of time it takes to break into your home.

Instead of keeping a spare key in a mailbox, under the doormat, or on a nail behind the garage, wrap the key in foil or put it in a 35mm film can and bury it where you can easily find it if you need it. Install a peephole in the door separating the house from the garage. If you hear suspicious sounds, you can check without opening the door. Ensure your garage door is secure, especially if there is an adjoining door in to your house. If you live in an apartment, be attentive, and be careful if you are alone in the laundry room or garage, especially late at night. For your last line of defense, make sure you install deadbolts on every entry door to your house. As a minimum, your deadbolts should have Grade 2 security features. If you have a garage attached to your home, make sure there's a deadbolt on the door linking your house and garage.

If you go out at night, leave some internal lights and a radio on. Never leave an answering machine message indicating you're not at home. Cancel milk and papers if you are going away and don't leave notes in the letterbox saying the keys are next door. Leave a car on the drive, if possible. If not, ask a neighbour to leave their car in the driveway. If the house is going to be empty for the night, it is a good idea to switch on a light in the living room or leave the radio on.

Either remove or prune all trees, hedges and shrubbery to no more than one metre high. This will allow for natural surveillance from neighbours and passers-by. Trees located near windows or shrubbery that might shield a burglar from view can be major flaws in your home-protection plan. Consider your landscaping plan in light of your protection needs. Bushes should be trimmed to below window level so that burglars can't have a secluded place to break into. Also, your visibility to your neighbors houses will be improved. Make sure the perimeter fence is high enough to prevent thieves from climbing over. Adding a trellis with a climbing plant such as clematis will make it virtually impossible to climb over a fence of any height.

Neighborhood Watch
Form a Neighborhood Watch Group and keep a list of Neighborhood Watch members on your refrigerator or near the main telephone in your house. When you notice suspicious activity, call the police at 911. Then, call other Neighborhood Watch members to notify them of the activity so they can secure their homes, turn on lights and be alert for further activity. Be prepared to do your civic duty in reporting crime, being a witness for the police and testifying in court if called upon to do so. Develop good habits in personal and home safety so that you re not an easy target for a criminal.

Pay particular attention for strangers going door-to-door, (front or back, night or day)), or loitering around the houses where residents may not be home. Strangers entering a neighbor's house when no one is home. Strangers at your door who claim to be lost or looking for someone else. Strangers running, possibly carrying something of value, not wrapped or packaged. Strange vehicles waiting or driving in the area, parked in neighbor's driveway, or loading property. Vehicles driving without lights, or parked and occupied at unusual hours. Unusual noises such as screaming, gunshots, dogs barking continuously, glass breaking, etc.

Security Codes
Select an easy-to-remember code and password. Keep them in a safe, accessible place, but not on your main control panel. When on vacation, give your security code and password to a trusted friend, family member or neighbor in case of an emergency. Train babysitters how to use your system and give them a temporary security code and password.

It's hard for thieves to use the cover of darkness when they can't find any, so keep the areas surrounding your home well-lit, especially around points of entry. Decorative lighting around the perimeter of your home serves a dual purpose, while motion activated lights on the side of the house and near the back door keep the darkness, and the burglars, away. Exterior lights and motion detectors, mounted out of easy reach, can reduce the darkness a burglar finds comforting. Snap sensor body and cover together.

Any spotlights that you install should shine on areas close to the home, not out into the yard. Exterior lighting equipped with motion detectors are available at most home improvement stores. Use them to scare off would be burglars.

Use hasp with protective covers for locks. This mechanism will make it more difficult for the burglar to break into the house. This safe home product is not easy to pick or break. Do not let strangers into your home, by installing peepholes you can identify visitors before opening the front door. In addition, ask for identification from all service representatives, especially if you are not expecting them. You can verify their identify by calling their company. Do not automatically open your door. Make sure you know who is on the other side before you open it. Insist on identification from repair and sales persons. If in doubt, call their company for identification or look up the company name and phone number in the phone book.

Lock your external garage or garden shed with a quality key-operated lock or padlock. If you are in the garden or watching TV, lock up parts of the house you can't keep an eye on. Lock away ladders, garden tools and bicycles. windows and sliding doors in bedrooms and the kitchen are closed and properly secured when you are away from home. Leave a news or talk radio station playing on a kitchen radio.

Have your locks re-keyed every time you move into a new house or apartment. If you live in an apartment, be attentive, and be careful if you are alone in the laundry room or garage, especially late at night. Exterior doors should be solid, not hollow core. They should fit snugly in the frame and the hinges should not be exposed. Wear bright clothes or reflective safety gear.

Lock up every time you go out, even if you will only be gone a short time. Almost 50 percent of burglars enter homes or property through unlocked doors or windows.

There are two types of deadbolts, single cylinder and double cylinder. Single cylinder locks are keyed on the outside with a thumb-turn knob on the inside and are good for general entry doors. Double cylinder locks are keyed on both the outside and the inside and are good for entry doors flanked by windows. A spring-latch lock is easy prey for burglars who are "loiding" experts. Loiding is the method of slipping a plastic credit card against the latch tongue to depress it and unlock the door. A deadbolt defies any such attack. It is only vulnerable when there is enough space between the door and its frame to allow an intruder to use power tools or a hacksaw. After the first battery is changed, remove and replace the other battery.

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