Brian BlackA man’s home is his castle. We have heard this since we were young, but what does it mean? The home is where the family is safe. Let’s look at securing your home. Most people think if I live in a “good” neighborhood, they won’t have any problems with criminals. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The criminal will make an assumption that because you live in a “good” neighborhood, you have nice, expensive things. There are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of your home being a target, and you might be surprised at how inexpensive it can be. Security SavvyThe first thing most people would notice when approaching a castle is the moat that encircled the castle. Ok, don’t dig a trench around your house, but use a barrier between your house and the criminal. Depending on your finances, you can build a fence along the perimeter of your property, or you can place shrubs at the side of the house. Don’t place your shrubs away from the house-- this is a good place for criminals to hide. Plant your shrubs under windows, but not too close to doors; you don’t want to provide a place of cover for the criminal. My personal choice for the type of shrub you should use is a thorny shrub. Your next step in protection is a monitored electronic system. These systems not only can make your home more secure, most offer other services such as fire and medical alarms. When you have one installed, make sure all of your exterior doors and windows are equipped with sensors. Don’t forget, place the security sign prominently in your yard and place the security decals on your windows. The idea behind the first two layers of protection is to discourage the criminal from wanting to enter your home. Security SavvyNow that we have placed natural and manmade barriers to protect our home, let’s look at the home itself. First we want to look at the doors. There are many good quality doors on the market today, so when you are looking at the selection, look for the security star ratings for the door. This is where you might have to sacrifice looks for safety-- it’s your choice--but you need a door with at least a 3 star rating. If you use a storm door, it needs to have a rating of 4 stars or greater. Next, you may want to look at your windows. If your house is over 10 years old, consider new energy efficient windows. These windows seem to be harder to break, but also have a tighter joint where the sashes meet, which makes it harder to open from the outside. There are additional steps you can take for protecting your family, but these decisions can be controversial and may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with small children. You may want to consider getting a trained watch dog to stay in your house and/or using a firearm for protection. You may not be able to do everything that has been suggested here, but if you can only choose one thing, get the monitored security system. Not only does it help in securing your home, but most insurance companies offer discounts to the home owner because they are installed. Be Safe and Think Safety.

By: Brian Black of Madison Security Group

Greg Tucker License Commissioner

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