More secure, home and away

By Pamela Singleton, Sonitrol Pacific Director of Communications
Posted May 19, 2009

Ahhhh, the long, luscious Memorial Day holiday weekend is almost upon us.

If your plans include travel, take a moment before you pack the kids and dog into the SUV to give your home a security once-over. A few minutes invested before you leave can significantly increase the security of your home and ensure everything is in place when you return.

1. Eliminate clues you’re away
o Don’t change your voice mail message to indicate you’re gone
o If you have a traditional answering machine, remotely pick up your messages daily to prevent the “beep” from getting too long
o Make arrangements with a trusted neighbor to collect your mail and newspaper daily or temporarily stop delivery
o Use automatic timers to turn on and off indoor lights and TVs at varying times of day
2. Prune shrubs, trees and other landscaping to allow for an unobstructed view of your doors and windows from the street
3. Verify all door and window locks are strong and in good working condition; use them
4. Kick proof your doors and make certain all door and window frames are solid and strong
5. Make sure all locks are “non-bumpable”; replace old, standard locks with high security locks that carry a UL437 rating or other technologically advanced locks
6. Turn off or unplug your automatic garage door opener; lock your garage door and the door that leads from the garage into your home.
7. Install motion activated outdoor security lighting
8. Clean up your yard and put away all tools, ladders, bikes, etc.; if you will be gone an extended period of time, ask a friend or trusted neighbor to mow your lawn
9. Turn off your telephone ringer or turn the volume down
10. Install a verified electronic security system and use it; let your monitoring center know you will be away and how to reach you