Valuable Information! Home Security!

"Your Best Interest is My Priority"

Anna will be addressing various items of value each month. Whether it is ways to save money, articles to increase your knowledge of property buying and selling, or the latest information in the mortgage industry, the purpose is to save you time, money or both! Here we highlight the main points and offer a printable version for expanded reading.

Please visit our archives page for past Items of Value. Listings are in chronological order and include Items of Value and Market Trends articles.

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The most common threat to your home is burglary. According to the FBI, a house, apartment or condominium is burglarized once every 15 seconds. There were more than 2 million burglaries last year; victim losses averaged more than $2,000 each, and only 8 percent of thieves were caught. Fortunately, burglars will often move on if they see you have taken preemptive measures.

HERE ARE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PROTECT YOUR HOME AND BELONGINGS

  • Lighten Up! - The winter months allow thieves to use the shield of darkness to their advantage because it is darker for a longer period of time. To counteract this, install motion sensor floodlights by your entryways, porches, gates and side yards. Install these lights at least 8 feet above ground so they are difficult to disable, and check often for bulbs that may have burned out.
  • Eliminate Easy Entry - Thirty-two percent of burglaries occur without using force to enter the
    home. Always lock your doors, no matter how soon you plan to return. Sliding doors and windows are easy fixes. Close the door or window and measure the length of the exposed sliding track. Cut a piece of wood (e.g., 1" x 1/2" or a dowel) a half-inch shorter than the sliding track, or 2" shorter to lock a window partially open for ventilation. When you close up, lock the door or window, then place the wood in the slide track to prevent opening.
  • Create the Illusion That You Are Home - If you plan to go away for the holidays, or even if you come home late from work regularly, use timers to turn on lamps, television sets, radios or holiday lights while you are out. Many timers even allow you to vary the times they turn on to further fool burglars. Remove signs of vacancy—put mail and newspaper deliveries on hold and ask neighbors to remove fliers left at the front door. If you are out of town, park your car or have a neighbor park in your driveway, if possible.
  • Keep Records of Your Belongings - In case of theft, your homeowner’s insurance may be of little value if you cannot substantiate your loss. Take photos of your valuable possessions (especially jewelry and electronics), write down serial numbers and keep receipts in case you need to file an insurance claim. Keep important documents in a home safe and give copies to your relatives to keep in case the originals are lost. There are also companies that perform a “home inventory” service.

Home Security Checklist

  1. Light porches, walkways and dark areas around your home.
  2. Keep bushes and shrubbery trimmed.
  3. Check all windows for working locks and deadbolt all doors.
  4. Use heavy drapes, shutters and blinds in rooms with desirable contents.
  5. Get a dog (many benefits).
  6. Organize a neighborhood watch group.
  7. Turn a radio on when you leave your home.
  8. Secure all entry gates, garages and sheds.
  9. Don’t leave objects in your yard that could assist an intruder.

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