Top 8 spring home security tips - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Top 8 spring home security tips

Content provided by Home Alarm Systems

(ARA) - Is home security on your to-do list for the spring? Although preliminary statistics are showing a decrease in the crime rate for the end of 2009, more than 9 million property crimes are still projected to occur in 2010. Trends also reveal that crime rates increase as the weather improves. As the spring of 2010 approaches, take the time now to start your DIY home security plan.

Hedge wisely:
Now is the time to beautify your property and create a deterrent for criminals by planting prickly evergreens beneath your first-floor windows. If you already have a hedge, prune it before the growing season begins for optimal health. Trim back existing bushes to keep them full yet compact; unruly plants can provide a tempting hiding place for opportunistic criminals. Check overhanging trees to make sure they could not help someone climb into a window or over a fence.

Fence it:
Something as simple as a fence can often make the difference between a criminal choosing your house or the next. Consider building a fence to surround the perimeter of your property. If you already have one, now is the time to give it some much needed attention. Harsh winter conditions can lead to splitting, rotting and rusting. Take the time now to repair broken or weakened areas of your fences and make sure that latches and locks are working properly.

Lock up:
It may sound obvious but the most common point of entry for criminals is the front door. Even if your door is locked, a standard soft-wood doorjamb can be easily kicked in. Invest in a deadbolt lock with a heavy duty strike plate. Make sure your mounting screws are at least 3 inches long. A few simple hardware changes can keep your door from giving way.

Use your lights:
If the thought of keeping lights on all night long makes you quiver, save some energy by replacing your outdoor lights with compact florescent bulbs. They come in a variety of shapes and strengths - from motion-detector flood lights to low-voltage pathway lights - so you can save on energy without sacrificing on security.

Clear the way:
Weeds and overgrowth are often the first signs of spring. Make sure your walkways and paths are clear and well lit so that you can see anyone approaching the home. Use preemergent weed-killer where you think excessive growth could cause a hazard.

Numbers:
The next time you pull into your driveway at night, check to see if your house numbers are clearly visible. In the case of emergency, would an ambulance or policeman know which house was yours? Reflective house numbers are available at any home improvement store and can help emergency responders find your house quickly.

Take inventory:
While you are spring cleaning this year, snap quick pictures of your most valuable items and their make, model and serial numbers. This information can be used for filing insurance claims and might also come in handy when attempting to track or trace stolen goods.

Look into home alarms:
Do-it-yourself projects can go a long way in home security, but many homeowners simply do not feel safe without a home alarm system. Do some research on home alarm systems - you may be surprised at how many options now exist to suit your budget and lifestyle. If you do invest, make sure you choose a reputable brand that will be properly installed and monitored.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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