Some of the best advice on home protection may come from Ray Johnson. A former burglar, he is now a reformed home security expert. For over 20 years, he has devoted his life to teaching people how to protect their homes.
Here are some tips to safeguard your home:
- Trees and shrubs may look good, but they provide a convenient hiding place for robbers and obscure your view. Trim back all trees, shrubs and other landscaping so they are not overgrown.
- Many older homes have sash windows. These should be replaced with modular windows. If this is not possible, buy locks for sash windows. This will reduce the chances of a break-in.
- Lock all doors and windows when you leave your house. And get a deadbolt lock for the front door – chains are useless.
- Hide money and small valuables in unlikely places, such as vitamin jars and children’s toy boxes.
- Don’t hide spare keys outside your door, no matter how clever you may think the hiding place is. Experienced burglars have seen it all and will find the key in no time.
- If you are going away for a trip, even if it’s just for a couple days, make sure your house looks lived-in. A house-sitter is the best plan, but if this is not possible, have a trusted neighbor pick up your newspapers and mail. Consider also using automatic timers to turn lights on and off.
- Many alarm systems still use a phone line, which burglars can easily shut down by cutting telephone wires. If you’re using a security system, make sure to get a wireless monitoring one.