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Cops Say: 'Check Your Locks'

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Burglaries happen everywhere. But sometimes, in some places, due to numerous reasons, burglaries become more frequent and sometimes by a lot. It doesn't matter how high or low the crime rate is in your town; it is essential to keep your home as secure as possible. Just outside of Seattle, the Quincy police department recently stated, "To help with the recent burglaries, we have compiled a list of tips to help you protect your home from being targeted."

One thing is clear about their tips: They recommend good, strong locks on all doors.
  • Make your home look occupied and make it difficult to break in.
  • Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
  • Keep your garage door closed and locked.
  • Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers to build up while you are away. Arrange with the post office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take it in regularly.
  • Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
  • Push-button locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors like the Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolt.
  • Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
  • Always lock your garden shed and garage.  
  • Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
  • Never leave notes on your door such as "Gone shopping."
  • Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen. 
  • When moving into a new home, have all locks changed. Stores like Home Depot and Lowes have great residential brands, such as Schlage.
  • Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
  • Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
  • An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There are a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
  • Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other "secret" hiding places. Burglars know where to look for hidden keys.  
  • Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home. This is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters as well as burglaries. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
  • Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 911 immediately.
  • Join the block watch. Work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.
For residents who arrive home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:
  • Do not enter--the perpetrator may still be inside.
  • Use a cell phone (or a neighbor's phone) to call police.
  • Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
  • Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
  • Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.
Robert Siciliano home security expert to Schlage discussing home security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover. Disclosures. For Roberts FREE ebook text- SECURE Your@emailaddress -to 411247.