8 tips to keep your home, family safe from thieves.

Caring about your personal safety is the greatest gift you can give yourself. Learning how to protect yourself and your family from crime is the foundation for living a safe and empowered life! It’s all about being smart.

1.Site survey: Walk around the outside of your property and make a note of everything that needs to be corrected.

2. Make a clear path: Remove any plants or shrubs that obscure the entrance to your home. Make sure you can see your door clearly from the street. Officers who patrol your neighborhood need to be able to view your property from their cars. Plants that screen the entrance of your home make it possible for robbers to break in without being seen. Hedges or bushes around your house make perfect hiding places for criminals. The back of the house should be clear as well. If you have a separate garage, keep the path clear from the garage to the back door.

3. Use landscaping as safety tool: Plant thorny bushes, such as roses or bougainvillea, under windows and along fences; this puts someone trying to “break and enter” in a “stick-y” situation. It also deters an intruder from hopping the fence onto your property.

4.Lock it up: If you have a fence on the side of the house that leads to the rear of the property, make sure there is a secure latch on the gate door.

For night protection or added security, place a padlock on the inside of the gate latch. Make sure to have a lock on your mailbox as well.

5. Clean up after yourself: If you have been doing a little fixing up around the house, make sure to put all ladders and tools away when you’re finished. A ladder leaning against a house or a tool left by a window is quite helpful to the burglar trying to enter your home.

6. Light it up: Sensor lights are an essential part of the exterior of your home. Not only are they helpful when you come home at night, but if someone is lurking on your property, nothing shocks them more than a light popping on and blowing their cover.

Make sure they are installed in the front, back and sides of your home to detect movement all around the property.

7.Be a dead head: Make sure that all of your locks are deadbolts extending at least one inch and made of steel. Using a deadbolt lock like the SmartLock from Kwikset allows you to re-key the lock yourself in seconds if a key turns up missing. The lock also has patented technology that has “BumpGuard” which can protect against someone trying to pick your lock.

If you have French doors, use a key as opposed to a knob lock on the inside, but make sure to have the key handy in case of fire or other emergency. DO NOT leave the key in the lock, hide the key in a nearby drawer or shelf.

8. Forget the rock to hide keys: Do not hide an extra key under the doormat, in the mailbox, under the flowerpot or in the always popular fake rock. Thieves know that those are the most common places to hide a key.

A combination lock is a great solution, that way, no keys are involved. You can even give different combinations to different people to allow access like the babysitter or the cleaning service.