Home Safe Home

Before you take your next vacation getaway, secure your abode with these precautions.

Keeping House
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Even in the best neighborhoods, residents need to think about crime. Follow this checklist to turn your house into Fort Knox (well, almost).

Secure Your Doors

  • Most burglars enter homes by breaking simple locks and kicking in doors. Make sure your front door is sturdy and install a dead bolt.
  • Don't leave keys under mats, planters, or fake rocks.
  • Make sure your home's side and back doors are as secure as your front door.
  • If you have Dutch doors, add a dead bolt to the lower and upper doors.
  • Sliding glass doors can easily be lifted off their tracks—reinforce them by installing pin locks.
  • Remember to always lock your garage door. More than protecting your car, you don't want to offer ladders or tools to a burglar.

Watch the Windows

  • Make sure all windows are closed and securely locked.
  • If you don't feel confident about the locks on your windows, put in extra protection. The Home Depot offers lots of options.
  • Make sure even the smallest basement windows are secure—there are plenty of skinny burglars.

Outsmart the Bad Guys

  • Contact the U.S.P.S. and request that your mail be held by your local post office until you return.
  • Suspend your daily or Sunday newspaper service.
  • Keep a radio and different lights on timers, and program them to go on and off throughout the day.
  • Install timed and motion-sensitive lights on your home's exterior.
  • Have a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your place, so they can collect fliers and packages.
  • Ask a friend or neighbor to park their car in front of your house, or in your driveway, while you're away.
  • Install a Neighborhood Watch sticker on your front door and push a security system sign into the ground—even if your house isn't alarmed.

Ryan Homes Tip: Homes security systems are an excellent deterrent. If you're thinking of installing an alarm, the Electronic Security Association's website can help you find a trusted security company in your area.