Wednesday, April 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Consider these effective and cheap home-security solutions

Burglars can easily take advantage of windows left open while residents are gone during the day. CanStock photo

[ File # csp7414088, License # 2636166 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / monkeybusiness

By Deborah Abrams Kaplan
bankrate.com

You spend time and money to create a nice home. How can you protect it from intruders without it costing a fortune? It’s easier than you think.

Chris Hsiung, a lieutenant with the Mountain View Police Department, says that the best home security involves multiple deterrents to dissuade opportunists and thieves from making your home a target.

Contrary to what you see on TV, Hsiung says most homes are burglarized during the day when residents are out. “Burglars do not want to confront anybody. At the first sign of occupancy, they’re gone,” he says. “They just want to grab property and sell it. The criminals know that when someone is in the house, it changes the crime classification.”

Because of this, thieves frequently pose as solicitors, he says. If no one answers the door, that’s their cue to head around back and break in. Outsmart a thief with these home security tactics:

* Using common sense is one of the best ways to prevent a home intrusion, Hsiung says. “You’d be surprised how many people leave doors and windows open when they leave.”

Even an open garage door invites a quick theft of whatever you store in there. If a thief sees a bike in an open garage, it’s an easy mobile crime to commit. “They come in by foot and take off on the bike,” Hsiung says.

* Because some burglars case an area for a target, be discreet before leaving town on a trip, which could alert thieves you’ll be away. “If you’re heading to the airport, you don’t want to advertise it with your car trunk open, filled with suitcases,” Hsiung says. Make sure to cancel newspapers, and have the post office hold your mail, so it doesn’t stack up in front of your home.

* Your neighbors can be your best home security — especially the nosy one next door. Cranford, N.J., homeowner Rachel Schwartz says one of her neighbors frequently looks out the window to see what’s going on in the neighborhood. Last year, the woman saw two men outside a house looking suspicious. She called the police, and the men were caught cutting the window screen trying to break in. “If she’s home, nothing gets by her,” Schwartz says.

Be sure to tell neighbors when you’re going out of town, so they can look out for your house. Hsiung also recommends using an online social network such as NextDoor.com, which connects neighbors virtually and promotes discussions.

* Lighting is really important in preventing home intrusions, says Hsiung, who recommends standing outside your home at night, looking for the dark, shadowy areas. “You want the light to illuminate your doorways and pathways to your house,” he says.

While looking for dark, shadowy areas, look in your yard for spots with heavy vegetation. You should cut these bushes and trees back, as they are a good place for people to hide. “You don’t want to come home and have the boogeyman behind the bush,” Hsiung says.

* Think about using dense hedges or thorny bushes near windows to keep away predators, says Lewis Long, vice president of consumer marketing for ADT Security Services. Make sure to keep them tidy, so they don’t become a place for intruders to hide. Also, trim back any trees that may provide access to a second-floor window.

* Another trend is installing security cameras outside. Long says internal and external home cameras are one of the most popular additions to alarm systems.

While 360-degree coverage is ideal, Hsiung says that a burglar could be deterred if he sees cameras recording at the front or back doors. Even a fake camera can be a deterrent, but it has to look legitimate. “A toy camera won’t fool anybody,” he says.

Hsiung says prices for simple surveillance cameras are reasonable, but technology can go so far as connecting to your cellphone, so you can watch when you’re not home, or snapping a picture each time someone opens a certain door.

* To alarm or not to alarm? There’s no right answer. An average alarm system costs $400 to $500 to install, says Long, and monthly monitoring ranges from $43 to $58. “People will buy a system and have it installed as a result of a life-stage change; they’re looking for some peace of mind” Long says. However, once they’re settled, they may become lax and not use it.

Long says, “The very presence of the system is a deterrent, and with any loud noise, in most cases, folks who like to do harm will not take that risk.”

* Protecting your home’s access points means making sure your doors, windows and locks are sturdy. “Deadbolts are definitely a good thing,” Hsiung says. Also, make sure your door is a solid wood or metal construction with a good frame. “If the wood is deteriorated, it won’t take much to force open,” he says.

Use an inexpensive dowel in the windows or the sliding glass door, so they can’t be pried open. “Any piece of wood that fits in the track works,” he says.

Comments

comments

Scripps Howard News Service

.

News

Food Bank springs for year-round assistance

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Next-generation GMOs: Pink pineapples and purple tomatoes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Dismal snowpack gets one more measure

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Funding sought for slain vet student’s pets

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Museum celebrates Easter with candy-filled eggs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Easter egg hunt set Sunday at Atria

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

AquaMonsters open summer registration

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Woodland Library’s community room reopens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Odd Fellows will host a big birthday bash

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Tamblyn presents a comedy concert

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Cancer fighters will gather Saturday for Relay For Life kickoff

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Poet laureate emerita celebrates at book-release party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
UCD gets grant to look at open access to published research

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

AARP’s free tax-prep services continue

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Round up at the registers for Davis schools

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

‘Sip and Shop’ kicks off Child Abuse Prevention Month

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Pain management lecture slated April 8

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Seniors invited to join new social group

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

 
Pence Gallery: See artists at work during Garden Tour

By Natalie Nelson | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Forum

Is Davis on the cusp of an evolutionary change?

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: B4

 
Will containers block cyclists’ path?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

We have no room for another cart

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
This is no way to run a city

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Get informed on organics program

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Bicycle bells are my birthday wish

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

 
Shootings showed need for MRAP

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Program sparks lots of questions

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Groom’s parents overwhelmed

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

.

Sports

Aggies get ready for Hawaii by rolling over St. Mary’s

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
UC Davis represents well at Final Four in Indiana

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Descalso looks back at Aggie days, ahead to new Rockies gig

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Blue Devils drop softball game at CBS

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
JV/frosh roundup: DHS younger girls soccer squad stomps Grant

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

UCD roundup: Nunez powers Aggies to softball win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Gibson’s heroics ensure a DHS split at Boras Classic

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B10

.

Features

Spring is a busy time for honey and hives

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

Bluesman and guitarist Buddy Guy comes to Davis

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Fiery bluesman brings guitar pyrotechnics to The Palms

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics