5-17-2013 5-53-13 PM Protecting Your Home - Part 3 Since the weather is now getting warmer, let’s talk about how to better secure your house from the outside. When talking about protecting your home, you must think of it in layers. No one element is enough for securing your home from intruders. 5-17-2013 5-54-17 PMLet’s start with window security. I have mentioned in the past that a good deterrent is to have thorny bushes in front of windows. This is the time to plant those bushes. A personal favorite is the holly bush, but another is the rose bush. These bushes are easy to plant and can grow fairly quickly. Just remember that with any plant it will take time to take root and thrive, but once they do, they will give you years of beauty and protection. Depending on the type of plants you get, you will need to give them room to grow but you do not want to leave a big gap between the window and bush. A gap of 12-18 inches should be enough; the main thing is to keep the gap small enough so the bush cannot be used to hide behind by an intruder. Another security device you can add is a privacy fence, and the ideal fence would be flush to the ground and six feet high. You could also use a chain link fence, but these are typically only four feet tall and can easily be jumped. If you want to go for the ultimate in fencing, you could use decorative rail or bar fencing. For the best security, the privacy fence option is the most economical. But whichever option you choose, make sure that you keep objects away from the fence that can be used to jump over the fence. 5-17-2013 5-54-37 PM3Outside lighting is a must. This is a good time to replace the bulbs with brighter bulbs, and be sure to follow manufacturer’s guidelines for maximum wattage. When determining how much lighting you should use or where to place lighting, you must think like an intruder. This is hard because we normally don’t think in those ways, but this is your best defense. Look for the areas in which someone might try and hide. These are the areas that need to be lit. There are many different types of lighting that can be used; halogen, florescent and even incandescent lights are all good options, and it’s all a matter of preference. One of the most popular types of lighting, and one that has great curb appeal, is a post light. These are normally found at the beginning of sidewalks or close to the front door, and they work very well at lighting the area. The last thing I would suggest is getting a storm door that has a 5 star security rating. Some of these doors have multiple locking points and the glass is nearly break proof. But like I have said in the past, once you feel secure, that’s when you’re most vulnerable. Security for your home is an ongoing process, and you must re-evaluate your defenses continually. I hope these suggestions are helpful; have fun working in the yard this summer, and be safe. By: Brian Black of Madison Security Group 5-17-2013 5-53-40 PM

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