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Hiding Keys Outside
Many people like to keep a house key hidden somewhere in the yard. This is great for having someone take care of your home or if you accidentally get locked out. Unfortunately, most homeowners “hide” their key in obvious spots, where a burglar will look immediately. In other words, don’t just put that key under the welcome mat!
Generally speaking, the farther from the house a key is hidden the better, and a disguised item (such as a fake rock) is only useful if hidden among similar items (like regular rocks). Don’t give the keys to your home to a criminal! Drill down deeper into this topic and find out more about where not to hide your keys.
While we’ve mentioned the need to concern yourself with the visibility outside your home, give some thought to the visibility of items inside your home as well. Many homeowners forget that windows are a two-way portal: just as you can see out of them, a potential intruder can see in.
If you have especially valuable items, give some thought as to whether they’ll be visible from a ground-floor window. This is especially applicable to first-floor bedrooms where jewelry or other items might be left out on dressers. Some items, such as televisions, are difficult to position so they won’t be visible from a window. In that case, the best you can do is to make sure you pull the shades or blind shut in the evening. Similarly, give a little thought to putting away valuables by either tucking them out of sight or in a dedicated secret hideaway.
Not Securing Patio Doors
Patio door locks are easy to pick. Placing a heavy-duty stick in the door track will bar the door closed, but it looks crude and it’s inconvenient to remove every time you want to open the door. Fortunately, there’s a better way to get the security you need.
Andersen Corp.’s auxiliary foot lock (andersenwindows.com) fastens along the bottom of the door and has a bolt that fits into a grommet to hold the door secure. A similar lock, the Door Guardian (thedoorguardian.com) attaches at the top of the door. Both locks allow the door to open 3 in. without compromising security. Installation takes about 10 minutes. Screw the bracket containing the pin to the door, then drill holes and insert grommets in the track for the pin to slide into.