How to feel safe and sound at home

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveTips

The other night as I was walking my dog Lilo, I noticed three police cars on our street. We live in a quiet residential neighborhood, so this is not a typical sighting. As I walked by I learned that someone had broken into two cars parked on the side of the street. The intruders broke the side windows on both cars, the shattered glass now covering the area.

While I felt safer on the walk knowing the police officers were nearby, I made sure to double-check the locks on all the doors and windows when I got home. Our home is in a gated area, but I figured that you never can be too safe. If you are looking for ways to enhance your home security — besides purchasing an entire home security system — consider some of these ideas:

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• Read up. According to “A Secure Life,” the most common months for burglaries are July and August, most commonly occurring between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The most common point of entry is the front door, with 34 percent of intruders entering from there. According to The Washington Post, intruders spend less than 60 seconds attempting to break into a home. Therefore, anything you can do to delay entry may increase the chances of the intruder changing his/her mind.

• Post signs. Even if you don’t have a dog, a “Beware of Dog” sign might help to deter potential intruders. Add a dog bowl on the side of the home for the extra sell. Another sign you can get is a decal saying that your home is protected by a security system. You can purchase these online and, like the dog, you don’t really have to have a security system to use them.

• Turn it up. Intruders are more likely to attempt break-ins when they think no one is home. Leaving lights, radios or televisions on while you’re gone can create the appearance of an occupied home. Use home automation technology to turn lights or devices on and off from a distance or at specified times.

• Use old smartphones in new ways. Smartphone application developers have figured out a way to turn your old, otherwise unused smartphones and tablets into home security cameras. One such app, “Presence,” works on WiFi-enabled Apple devices and uses two devices in tandem. One acts as a monitor and one as a camera.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.