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Keeping your House Safe and Sound

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Your house is your home and it demands protection. Not only does it need to be sheltered from fire, weather, and the seasonal invasion of miller moths, but it also needs to be protected from break-ins. The following are tips on how to keep your house, and your mind, safe and sound:

Don't rely on Rover: Having a guard dog to protect you from impending danger is a good idea, just not a very realistic one: most dogs will either sleep through a break-in (on your bed no less) or make themselves an unknowing accomplice by greeting the burglar with licks. Most dogs simply aren't a match for burglars; no, not even cat burglars.

Instead of forcing your dog to wake up from his beauty sleep to fight off a robbery, install a burglar alarm. Not only does an alarm wake you and your neighborhood, but it also has a paw up on Rover: it calls 911. No matter how smart a guard dog you have, chances are he doesn't know how to use a phone.

To maximize protection from your burglar alarm, place window stickers and signs in your front yard to warn any burglars that, if they want to break into your house, they are in for a fight.

Don't give them ideas: There are enough crime shows on television to put ideas in the heads of burglars, you don’t need to do it too. For this reason, it's important not to make your house inviting to the bad guys: don't have an open upstairs window and a ladder hanging from a nearby fence and don't have large bushes were a burglar can hide as they pry open a basement window.

It's also important to always lock your doors, even if you are just leaving for five minutes. Burglars won't spend a whole lot of time trying to get into your house; if they can't get in, they will leave. But, an unlocked door lets them in quickly and efficiently, letting you into a world of trouble. Whether you're home or not, lock your doors and your windows (getting security pins for your window frames is a good way to keep them from being easily open). There is nothing a burglar hates more than a door or a window that won't budge.

Change the locks: Whenever you move into a new house, it's a good idea to get new locks. Simply put, the house has a history and you don't know what it is. The previous owners could have been careless with their house keys, losing them in all sorts of places, or they could have lent them out to all kinds of people: ex-spouses, neighbors, the boogeyman.

It may seem a little paranoid to get the locks changed, but you'll surely sleep better at night knowing that the only people with keys to your house are people you trust… and maybe the realtor.

Get motion sensitive lights: Motion sensitive lights, or lights that come on whenever they detect motion, are perfect for protecting your home. Not only do these lights scare potential burglars, as they think the home owner is manually turning them on, but they also illuminate your house's exterior. If there's one thing burglars do not like, it's a working environment that's well lit.

Motion sensitive lights can also help you notice when something travels across your yard or up your walkway. If you happen to be awake and notice your lights have come on, you are immediately warned to be on guard, even if your "being on guard" is for little more than a bunny rabbit, hoping across your driveway.

Chances are, your house will never be robbed or involved in a break-in. But, the world we live in demands precautions. Not everyone is bad, but some people are. Ultimately, the best rule of thumb is to trust in the good, but lock your doors.

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About Marie Jordan