Owning a home is the most valued long-term investment most Americans ever make. And owning your home is much more than a material asset, home ownership builds a sense of stability, pride, accomplishment and peace of mind. So protecting your home—and your loved ones that live in it—is a top priority for most families.
During Crime Prevention Month in October, here are some tips from the National Crime Prevention Council (ncpc.org) to keep your home and your family safe from crime.
Inside your home:
· Install key locks, pins or other secure locks on every window and sliding glass door.
· Secure windows and sliding doors with secondary blocking devices such as a stick or broom handle.
· Use anti-lift devices to prevent windows and glass doors from being lifted out.
· Use high quality Grade-1 or -2 locks with a bolt that extends at least one inch into the door frame to resist prying open or forceful entry.
· Use automatic timers to switch indoors lights on and off if you’re going to be away from home overnight.
· If you have an alarm system, don’t write your pass-code
on or near the alarm keypad.
· Keep a home inventory of valuables including serial numbers, pictures and sales receipts and keep a copy of the inventory in a safe place somewhere other than your home.
Outside your home:
· Keep your yard, porch, garage doors, pathways and entrances well-lit at night, either with permanent lighting or motion-detecting lights that turn on when someone comes within a certain distance.
· Trim plants and shrubs that could serve as hiding places for criminals away from windows and doors.
· Cut back tree limbs that could provide a way for thieves to climb into second-story or higher windows.
· Display alarm company signs and decals on the windows and lawn.
· Don’t hide a key outside your home. Leave a key with a trusted family member, friend or neighbor instead.
· If you’re going to be away, stop your mail and newspaper delivery, or ask a neighbor to pick them up for you.
· Ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway while you’re away.
· Lock gate latches, garage doors and sheds with high-security, laminated padlocks.
· For items that need to be left out in the open, such as grills and bicycles, use a tarp to hide them from view and securely lock them to a stationary point such as a railing or post.
For more information about home safety, visit nahb.org/forconsumers or contact Northwest Arkansas Home Builders Association.