Burglar proofing your home

Published 10:16 pm Thursday, March 3, 2011

There are a variety of ways to prevent intruders from entering your home. Local experts advise homeowners to ensure they have high-quality locks, good relationships with their neighbors, a clear lawn and an alarm system.

In today’s economy, protecting your possessions and your home may be more important than ever. Local security experts have some tips for keeping burglars out of your property.

The first step is ensuring that your locks are high-quality and working properly.

“The first thing is to make certain you have secure locks on all of your doors and windows,” said Paul Fuqua, director of marketing for Johns Brothers Security in Carrollton.

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“Dead bolts are a must,” said Clay Floyd, owner of Tweeds Locksmith, Inc., in Suffolk and Portsmouth. “The bolt needs to extend the whole way, the full throw. You can’t drive that bolt back with your hand.”

There’s also nothing better for neighborhood security than a good relationship you’re your neighbors and a shared concern for the integrity of each other’s homes.

“Nothing is better than vigilant neighbors,” Fuqua said.

A third consideration is to ensure that your home is open to the street. Have well-trimmed foliage and few items in your yard to hide behind, so that your home is visible to the street. This will make it less likely that burglars will be able to sneak into your yard.

Fuqua added that having motion sensors on the exterior lights of your home can also be helpful during the evening hours.

“Burglars are like roaches,” he said. “They disappear when the lights come on.”

However, most burglaries happen in the daytime when no one is home, he said. When you are going to be on vacation or away from home for a long period of time, you should turn off your garage door openers and have a neighbor or family member pick up your mail and newspapers.

Burglars sometimes ride around in neighborhoods with a series of remotes to control garage doors, Fuqua said. There are a limited number of frequencies that the remotes operate on, so it is relatively easy to find the frequency that will open yours.

In the case of certain security system setups, it isn’t difficult to break into a home from the garage and not even set off the alarm.

It also helps to give the appearance of a home secured by a security system. Some companies sell signs and stickers to customers without security systems.

There have been many advances in security in the last several years. With certain systems you can watch live video of your home, you can opt to receive e-mails whenever your front door is opened, you can put sensors on some of your most prized possessions and more.

“With today’s technology you can put sensors on all kinds of stuff,” he said.