Give yourself the gift of added security this New Year’s.
• Consider adding a deadbolt lock to your outside doors. An in-handle key and lock system is often not enough to prevent entry into a home.
• A great lock does not help if the home has a flimsy door. Get a steel door or a solid wood door. Doors with full-length windows may look good, but the window can be broken and someone could simply reach through the window and unlock the mechanism.
• Experts recommend a peephole or wide angler viewer, so residents can look through the door to make sure they recognize a visitor. If you don’t know the person, don’t open the door. Even if a person asks for help, tell him or her you will call 911 to get the needed assistance.
• Sliding doors require an additional lock, such as broom handle or a dowel wedged into place, to prevent opening. A piece of wood wedged into a window also works for added security.
• Double-hung windows can be made more secure by the pin method. Drill a small hole at a 45-degree angle between the inner and outer frame. Place a nail in the hole, which can be removed when not using it.
• Illumination is a key element to prevent burglary. Motion sensitive lights will illuminate a yard when most needed and startle a burglar.
• Some passive security systems lend themselves well to the Roswell environment. A cactus or some other spiny plant placed under windows may deter a burglar who would rather not get spiked.
However, if you pick an evergreen shrub, make sure it is low growing. Tall plants and trees need to be pruned and trimmed to ensure that the thief doesn’t have a place to hide or something to climb to get into higher windows.
• Make sure house numbers are easy to see, so if you need them, emergency services can find the address quickly.
• A security system may give the gift of safety, but there are certain things to keep in mind. In Roswell, the security system must be registered with Neighborhood Watch and Alarm, 622-SAFE (7233). Any person with an unregistered device may be fined $50 and the police are prohibited from being dispatched to any place with an unregistered device.
Also, know how to use it. If it sounds and the place is secure, turn it off. A person or business can also be fined if there are too many false alarms. Always check the security company to see if they are legitimate and find out what sort of support services they provide for their customers.
• Security cameras are great, but they are also a favored target item for thieves. Make sure the camera is linked to a recording device. The record can then be turned over to the police. Some people place security cameras inside the home pointing out a window to prevent theft.
• A sound-detecting sensor is a cheaper alternative to a security-alarm system. These lights often require little more than two AAA batteries. The sensor connects to a light, which blinks on and off to let people know if there are unwanted visitors.
Remember, if it takes longer than 60 seconds to gain access into a home, most burglars will give up and try elsewhere.
• Finally, don’t let a burglary turn into a tragedy. If a door or window is open or broken when you arrive home that wasn’t open before you left, do not enter the house. Contact 911 immediately. If a burglar enters a home when you are there, do not confront them. Get out as quickly as possible and call 911 on a cell phone or from a neighbor’s house.
One of the best security systems is joining or starting a Neighborhood Watch group in your area. It has a number of advantages to often expensive modifications to a home or security alarms. First, it costs no money and second, it gives you a chance to meet your neighbors, which means you know when someone in the neighborhood does not belong. Contact 575-622-SAFE (7233).