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Home Matters

Top tips to prevent a home break-in

If you've been watching the news lately (for the past 20 years or so), you may have gotten a little "freaked out," says Stephen Morales from Guardian Security. If you're looking into protecting your home without exercising your second amendment rights, you may want to contact a company like Guardian to install a home security system, and "get some peace of mind."

Stephen says that the peace of mind that Guardian can offer includes making sure your home is safe, by designing a system to your specifications.

Not only can they provide safety from potential break-ins, Stephen says, but they also can protect you against fire in your home by monitoring heat or carbon monoxide levels. They can help you plan fire escape routes.

To avoid a break-in, Stephen suggests being aware of who comes to your home.

Solicitors, for example, have a free pass to come up to your door. But, Stephen says, they may be knocking on your door more than once (morning, afternoon, night) to try to learn your schedule. Or, it might be someone walking through your neighborhood trying to get a feel for the area. To prevent against this, he recommends getting to know your neighbors. Learn their schedules, and have them know yours, as well as knowing who their gardener is, or who might be coming by their home when they're on vacation. "They're your first line of defense," Stephen says.

He also recommends keeping an eye on what you post on social media. Phones can interact with applications like Facebook or Foursquare to check into places and alert people to when you aren't at home. The same goes for vacation, Pete adds. Blasting all over Facebook that you're going away for the weekend lets people know that you're not at home and are a potential target for a break-in.

Unfortunately, there are scenarios that you cannot work around, says Stephen. Subtle tricks like walking through the neighborhood with a dog helps a potential burglar blend in. Other times, although it may be fairly obvious, burglars may sit in cars to observe the neighborhood. Other times, Stephen says, it may not be so obvious.

Burglars may find other ways to obtain your address. "Inside your glove box lives your address," Stephen says. "And it is required to live inside your glove box. If they know your car, and your car is gone, chances are you drove somewhere, and you are not at home." The situation generally begins with a car burglary. They may smash your window and steal your registration, and "they may do nothing for months." A burglar may observe your routines, and find a pattern to when your home will be unattended.

Open houses can also expose you to a potential break-in. "They're exactly what they sound like: you're opening your home," he says, and letting burglars do their homework. Stephen suggests logging who comes into your open house, and be proactive: ask for the visitors' identifications and fill out the log book yourself.

There are various electronic solutions depending on your needs and how you would like to be notified about the goings-on in your home. Door sensors can notify you if your door is kicked in; window sensors can detect if the glass in your windows is broken; motion sensors can detect movement in or around your home. Combinations of these solutions can provide the best coverage and protection for your home.

Rob also suggests looking at your home as a burglar would. Where are the shadows or places you can't see? What are the tools you have laying around that a burglar could use? Utilize this knowledge to help protect your home.

Home Matters with Pete and Rob can be heard on KIRO Radio every Saturday at 8 a.m. and Sunday at 6 a.m. or anytime at KIRORadio.com. Like Home Matters on Facebook.

Cait Walsh, MyNorthwest Writer
Caitlyn Walsh is a regular lifestyles contributor for MyNorthwest. She enjoys reading and hiking, as well as perusing all the cat videos the Internet has to offer.
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