Boost Your Home's Security

How secure is your home, really?  When was the last time you stopped to consider security, and figure out what you needed to do to protect yourself and your loved ones?  Home security doesn’t have to involve expensive surveillance systems, panic rooms, and high tech alarms. There are lots of small, simple, but effective steps that you can take to make your home safer including calling a residential locksmith:

 

 

Think Like a Crook
If you left home without your keys, how would you get back in?  If you know that all the conservatories in your neighborhood have weak locks, there’s a good chance a burglar would know that too.  Take measures to fix those problem spots.
Take a look at your house during the day, and another look at night.  Try to find areas that are dark and difficult to see from the street – these are the areas that criminals would use if they wanted to be able to work on entering your property without passers-by noticing what they’re doing. Professional locksmiths use this tactic frequently. Once you’ve identified those areas, invest in motion-sensitive or timer based lights to act as a deterrent.

 

 

Talk To Your Neighbors
The best ally you have in the fight against opportunistic crime is your neighbors.  Get to know them, and they’ll keep an eye on your home for you.  If you are going on holiday, let them know.  If they’re going away for a while, keep an eye on their property for them.
Communities with an active Neighborhood Watch program tend to have lower crime rates than communities without such a program.  Most criminals are opportunists, and if they think that it’s too risky to break into your home, then they’ll move on to an easier target.
Think carefully before handing out keys to your neighbors, and don’t ever a key “under the plant pot”, or anywhere else out in the open.  No matter how much you trust your friends and neighbors, they’ll never be as careful about your property as you are. A local locksmith can help you identify weak spots in your security.  The fewer people that have access to your home, the better.

 

 

Don’t Advertise Big Purchases
If you’ve just bought a posh flat-screen TV, by all means, show it off to your close friends, but don’t tell the whole world!  Instead of leaving the box out on the street for several days, flatten it or cut it up and put it in the bin – or, even better, take it to the recycling center yourself.
The same is true for holidays – don’t broadcast your plans to take a two-week long cruise.  Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare are a great hunting ground for thieves looking for easy targets.  If they see photos of your gorgeous new TV, and then see a check-in at the airport, that’s basically an invitation for a robbery. A residential locksmith will be able to show you tips to secure your home whilst you are on vacation.

 

 

Get Locks for Your Windows
Even modern UPVC windows often have disappointingly weak thumb locks.  If you can afford to update those to proper locks that have a deadbolt, then you should do so as soon as possible.  Keep the key close to the window, but not somewhere that is visible from outside the house.

 
If you can’t afford to get a professional residential locksmith to fit proper locks, consider improvising – drill a thin hole into each window sash at a 45-degree angle to the window, and put a nail into it, leaving just enough sticking up to a) prevent the window from opening, and b) allow you to pull the nail out in the event of an emergency.
This article was written by James Harper on behalf of Stormclad, fitters of conservatories and UPVC windows. Visit their site to see how you can have UPVC windows or a conservatory for your home.

 

Risks of Propping Open a Door for Convenient Entry

Propping the door open seems like a good option on the fly, but a little more thought would point out potential dangers. Doors are gateways that let anything in or out of a room. From security to animal infestations, leaving the door open, although convenient, may lead to unexpected results.

Temperature Control

The structure around a building is the envelope. The better seal an envelope has, the more efficient the heating and cooling system. Leaving a door open breaks that seal by letting the outside environment invade the space. In other words, the hot summer air or frigid winter cold enters the temperature-controlled area. To make matters worse, the conditioned air leaves the room and goes outdoors. The job of a thermostat is to regulate the temperature. It doesn’t care if the door is open. It will run the equipment and energy bill up to maintain that environment, so propping the door ends up costing money.

Wildlife, Pets and Insects

Leaving an open door provides a warm, inviting environment for the native wildlife. Once an animal gets in, it is not always easy to get it out. In addition to squirrels, birds, skunks and raccoons, an open door lets in bugs of all types. Cockroaches, flies and mosquitoes enter through the small gap and take up residence in any nook and cranny they find.

For pet owners, what comes in from the outside is not the only consideration. With an open door, the cat, dog or ferret may go out and get lost. And what comes in – like a snake or rabid animal – may present a hazard to a beloved family pet, as well.

Security

The most obvious risk is to security. An open door gives anyone access to a house or business. Someone walking by might decide that door is an invitation to steal or do worse. The open door is not just convenient for the person who propped it.

You should consider hiring a residential or commercial locksmith in your local area to secure your home even further. A open door can be a security threat, but a unsecured lock can be a huge security threat!

And What if It Closes?

A propped door may not stay open. If the reason behind propping is to avoid letting the lock engage, when the prop slips there is a problem that requires the attention of a commercial or residential locksmith.

Let’s face it; things don’t always go as planned. Propping the door open can lead to a very unpleasant surprise even if it is convenient. Propping may work a hundred times in a row, but it only takes one time for a rock, brick or doorstop to be knocked loose. The door slams shut with the keys inside along with your dinner baking in the oven or your child napping in her crib.. No matter how easy it is to prop, the potential risks make it unwise.

It is always a good idea to know a local locksmith who can help you out when needed.  You can always find one in the Yellow Pages, through word of mouth, or through an internet search.  When searching online, be sure to include your town or zip code in the search box to find someone closest to you; for example, if in Bethesda, search for: locksmith in Bethesda.

Citations:

Helen Hoefele is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow her at: @For_You_To_Know.

Staying Safe On The Internet

Identity theft can cause massive destruction to your personal credit. As hackers and would-be thieves develop increasingly sophisticated ways to steal your personal data, identity theft is becoming more and more common. In 2011, one in every 25 Americans became victim to identity theft, resulting in an average loss of $631 plus 33 working hours. Identify theft caused a total loss of $1.52 billion in 2011 alone. The effects of identity theft are far-reaching; Not only do you lose money, but you’re forced to spend hours upon hours trying to reclaim your finances, your credit and your life. If you become the victim of identity theft, there are three steps you should take to remedy the problem: Change your passwords, contact your account holders and communicate with other agencies to report the theft. Ideally, you want to prevent identity theft before it ever happens. For tips on doing so and other stats about the growing problem of identity theft, check out the infographic below.

 

Also make sure to secure your home and office with a residential locksmith or commercial locksmith in your local area. You identity is important, but so is your home and office security!

 

This infographic was developed by Veracode, providers of the world’s leading Application Risk Management Platform. Find out more about Veracode rootkit finder onVeracode.com.

Choosing a Wired or Wireless Home Security System

One very important decision in getting a home security system for your home is the decision whether your system is wired or wireless.  Both wired and wireless systems have both advantages and disadvantages so the decision on which type best suits your needs should be based on personal preferences and the limitations of your home.  This article lists the important information that you should consider before you make this choice of calling a residential or commercial locksmith to install a security system for your home or business.

 
The advantages and disadvantages for a wireless home security product are as follows.  The advantage of a wireless system in your home is that it installation is very easy and inexpensive to install.   They are simple to install because there is no expensive and complicated wiring required in your house.  It is also easy to move your system from one location to another if the need arises.  The alarm system can even be taken to a new home if you ever decide to move.  They can also be installed in areas where there is no power or power outages are common because they run on battery backup.  The disadvantages to wireless home alarm systems are that there is a design limitation on the distances a sensors can be from the main control panel as well as the system requires battery changes on a regular basis.

 
Wired home security systems have their advantages and disadvantages.  One of the greatest advantages of the wired home security system is that they are very reliable.  Many experts consider wired home security systems more reliable than wireless home alarm systems.  They are more complex to install so they are typically installed by experts or professional contractors and often come with a guarantee or warranty.  The cost of installation is a disadvantage as they are typically more expensive and complicated to install due to the wiring that is required to setup the system.   In the event of a power failure if the system does not have a battery backup the system will lose its effectiveness.

 

Understanding the differences in a wired and wireless home security system is important in making a decision that best suits your security needs.  Viewing websites that have home security reviews will help you in determining the best home security system for your home.  Choosing a home security system is a matter of personal preference. Ask a local residential or commercial locksmith for help when choosing a system. In many cases the advantage of a wired system is the disadvantage of a wireless system and vice versa.

 
This article is written by an author who reviews Home Security Systems at HappyHealth.Net