Now is a great time to make a whole house check-up on home security.  Here are 5 areas you don't want to miss…


5Things to avoid doing to help keep your home safe…


1. Leaving your garage door open or unlocked. Once inside the garage, a burglar can use any tools you haven't locked away to break into your home, out of sight of the neighbors. Interior doors between the garage and your home often aren't as strong as exterior doors and may not have deadbolt locks.

Instead: Always close and lock the garage door. Consider getting a garage-door opener with random codes that automatically reset.

2. Hiding spare keys. Burglars know about fake rocks and leprechaun statues and will check under doormats, in mailboxes, and over doorways.

Instead: Give a spare set to a neighbor or family member.  Better yet, have a new security system installed in your home that allows you to lock and unlock doors by using your smart phone.

3. Letting landscaping get overgrown. Tall hedges and shrubs near the house create hiding spots for burglars who may even use overhanging branches to climb onto your roof.

Instead: Trim any bushes and trees around your home.

4. Keeping your house in the dark. Like overgrown landscaping, poor exterior lighting creates shadows in which burglars can work unobserved.

Instead: Replace burned out bulbs promptly, add lighting where needed, and consider putting fixtures on motion sensors or light sensors so that they go on automatically.  Also - that new security system I just mentioned will also allow you to operate your inside and outside lighting from your phone.  You really need to look into this.  Seriously.

5. Leaving "goody" boxes by the curb. Nothing screams "I just got a brand new flat-screen, stereo, or other big-ticket item for Christmas" better than boxes by the curb with your garbage cans.

Instead: Break down big boxes into small pieces and bundle them together so that you can't tell what was inside.