Friday, April 18, 2014
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.

Scripps Howard News Service

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

Going green at church, school, everywhere

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

By Dave Jones | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
UCD to host Global Health Day event

By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 8 Comments

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Event to provide nature scholarship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Online K-12 school holds info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Schwenger lawn signs available

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Volunteers needed for Grad Night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Davis grad makes rain collection a business

By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
A few spots left on history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Students have new options on leasing front

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Groups join for a day of service

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Food for the hungry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

.

Forum

Dad makes mom look bad

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
In search of great ideas

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Please keep the nursery open

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Early help is a great investment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

More tax money? Answer the question

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6, 5 Comments

 
UCD IS responsible for students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 5 Comments

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A9

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

Lyon Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

Acacia at Huntington Square

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Jamie Madison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Yolo FCU

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Travis Credit Union

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

Kim Eichorn

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Suzanne Kimmel

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Lynne Wegner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Kim Merrel Lamb

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Patricia Echevarria

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Chris Snow

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Andrew Dowling

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Sheryl Patterson

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Don Guthrie

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Heather Barnes

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Julie Partain & Dick Partain

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Malek Baroody

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Willowbank Park

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Team Traverso

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Julie Leonard

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tim Harrison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tracy Harris

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Lori Prizmich

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Joe Kaplan

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Raul Zamora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

Open House Map

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

F1rst Street Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20