Holiday Season Home Protection

Get smart. “First of all, use the door locks that you already have,” advises Sgt. Dan Ryan, of the Palo Alto, Calif., Police Department. People in friendly communities that are generally safe may think they don’t need to lock their doors. That’s a big mistake, Ryan says. Here are more strategies:
Make it a nightly routine to check the locks. Involve children, too, says Chris McGoey, a security expert and consultant who calls himself “[http://www.crimedoctor.com/index.html] The Crime Doctor.”
Don’t open the door — and don’t let kids open the door — to uninvited strangers.
Use your automatic garage opener to close the garage door when you get home before exiting your car.
Stick around when people are working in your home. Notice what they’re doing. Check after they’ve left to ensure that nothing’s missing and that no one has left a window or door unlocked as a way to break in later.
Door mats, flowerpots and fake rocks are the first places burglars look for your spare key. Instead, give it to a trusted neighbor. Train children (especially teens) to keep key locations, alarm codes and other family security information private from their friends.
Check in with family as you come and go. When you get home, phone to say that you’re getting out of the car and are almost at the door; require kids to check in when they arrive home or leave.
Have a family discussion to plan what you’ll do in case of a break-in or home invasion. Whoever can escape should, McGoey says. Although the first instinct of many men may be to stay and defend their family, it’s better to get reinforcements than to get hurt.

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Wally Buczkowski

Wally Buczkowski

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CENTURY 21 Leading Edge Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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