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Home Security

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Here are a few simple security steps:
 
Doors
Make sure you have strong doors. Outside doors should be metal or solid hardwood, and at least 1.75-inches thick. Frames must be made of equally strong material, and each door must fit its frame securely. Even the most efficient lock, if it is placed in a weak door, will not keep out a determined burglar.

A peephole or a wide-angle viewer in the door is safer for identifying visitors than a door chain.

Sliding glass doors present a special problem because they are easy to open, but if you have these doors, you can find special locks for them. A broomstick in the door channel can also help, but cannot be depended on.

Locks
Deadbolt locks are best. They usually are locked with a key from the outside and a thumb turn on the inside. The cylinder (where the key is inserted) should be pick-resistant. Ask your hardware dealer for a reputable brand or buy your locks from a locksmith.

Windows
Key locks are available for all types of windows. Double-hung windows can be secured simply by "pinning" the upper and lower frames together with a nail, which can be removed from the inside.

For windows at street level or on fire escapes, consider installing metal accordion gates.
 
Helpful  Home Security Habits

  1. Establish a routine to make certain that doors and windows are locked and alarm systems are turned on.
  2. Avoid giving information to unidentified telephone callers and announcing your personal plans in want ads or public notices (such as giving your address when advertising items for sale).
  3. Notify the police if you see suspicious strangers in your area.
  4. Don't carry house keys on a key ring bearing your home address or leave house keys with your car in a commercial parking lot or with an attendant.
  5. Don't hide your keys in "secret" places outside your home – burglars usually know where to look. 


Vacation Tips

  1. Leave blinds open in their usual position.
  2. Have mail and packages picked up, forwarded or held by the post office.
  3. Lower the sound of your telephone ringer and answering machine so they can't be heard outside.
  4. Arrange to have your lawn mowed in summer and your walk and driveway shoveled in winter.
  5. Stop newspaper deliveries.
  6. Ask a friend to pick up "throw-away" newspapers and circulars.
  7. Use automatic timers to turn lights on and off in various parts of the house at appropriate times. Consider connecting a radio to a timer.
  8. Tell police and dependable neighbors when you plan to be away and join with your neighbors to keep a close watch on what's happening in your area – working closely with them is a good way to prevent crime. 

Courtesy of the Insurance Information Institute (http://www.iii.org/)
 

Copyright © 2014 State Auto Insurance Companies. All rights reserved.
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