Home safety checklists for elders in print and on the internet

While we believe strongly that a home security alarm is the way to go with cost reductions making it mainstream, there are some easy steps you can take to help reduce your exposure and risk of a burglary.

Turn up the LIGHT. Exterior lights on each door and access point to your home make a huge difference and deterrent to the common burglar. A determined thief may not mind, but the common burglar will often look for easier targets – make it harder on them.

LOCK your doors and WINDOWS. Many people forget about the basics – especially locking windows during warmer weather months. Don’t be a victim of being unprepared.

INTERIOR lights. Buy a timer or other automatic switch to turn on a lamp – regardless if you’re on vacation or not. Most burglaries take place during regular periods of your lifecycle – not during vacations.

Keep your bushes and hedges trimmed. Don’t create easy to use seclusion or hiding places for thieves to retreat or watch your home.

CHANGE the code to your automatic garage door opener. If you never changed the default setting on your garage door opener when you bought it, chances are its on a common frequency that’s easy to pick. Its easy to update – if you don’t, its like leaving your door open.

BEWARE of sliding glass doors and rails. If you have sliding glass doors, these are among the easiest to open and pop off tracks. At a minimum you should have a locked brace or track guard to prevent the door from opening.

DOOR HINGES and SWINGING DOORS – Check your doors and hinge settings. The exterior (exposed) part of your door hinge shouldn’t be exposed. You can also get non-removable pins.

PET Doors are a common convenience – but if you have a large dog be sure to lock the door. Law enforcement report numerous cases of dogs being easily incapacitated and intruders gaining entrance by squeezing thru large pet doors be aware of the risks these doors bring.

These are just basic tips. A determined burglar will always be able to find a way in to your home. A home security system is the single largest prevention and response device you can employ while nothing is foolproof, you want to make it obvious to common and even advanced burglars that you’re prepared. Its sounds awful, but you want it to make it as clear as possible that YOUR home is protected and would be a bigger risk sending them to your unprotected neighbors instead.