- Enlist local police. Local police departments typically will send a trained officer to your home to do a “walk through” with you, pointing out your vulnerabilities and suggesting simple fixes. Check your police department’s website for crime statistics and tips. For example, here is the Los Angeles Police Department’s detailed list of home-security tips for residents. Remember to alert police when you’ll be out of town.
- Chat up the neighbors. Join the local Neighborhood Watch program or start one. Chatting with neighbors updates you on local crime problems and enlists allies who’ll watch your home while you’re away. Neighbors are terrific watchdogs. My retired neighbor up the hill who likes peering out his window through a giant telescope spotted and chased a pre-dawn intruder from my garden once.
- Use your locks. Even if your neighborhood feels safe, make locking up a habit. Burglars often test a home by knocking on a door and, if no one answers, opening it. Keep every exterior door and window locked, including the door between the garage and house.
- Fake it. Getting a dog is a great security move. But if you can’t, pretend to have one, McGoey advises. Buy a couple “Beware of Dog” signs at a hardware store and put them up. When a stranger is at the door, make a show of putting the “dog” in the other room before you open the door.
- Install dummy security cameras (about $5).
- Paste a local security company’s sticker on your front window.
- Keep the place looking lived in. Rotate lights on timers when you’re gone. Sign up for USPS’ Hold Mail service, reschedule expected deliveries and get friends to drop by randomly to water plants or just walk around.
- Trim shrubs. Bushy trees and shrubs provide cover for bad deeds. Keep the foliage well-trimmed.
- Use your head. “Don’t open the door — and don’t let kids open the door — to uninvited strangers,” McGoey tells MSN Real Estate. Stay home when workers are in or around your home. Don’t put keys in obvious places like fake rocks and under pots and doormats. “Train children (especially teens) to keep key locations, alarm codes and other family security information private from their friends,” the article adds.
- Light the night. Install bright, motion-triggered security lights outside the front and back of your home. Battery-powered lights start at around $10 each. Hard-wired products start at around $50.
- Replace the door … or don’t. The best entry doors are solid wood ($100 and up) or 16-gauge minimum steel ($120 and up), says the Los Angeles Police Department. Use non-removable hinge pins and avoid doors with glass windows unless the glass is burglar-resistant. Consumer Reports’ test of entry doors found, however, that a strong door frame may count more than the door: “All [doors] eventually failed because the doorjamb split near the lock’s strike plate, though we also found that beefed-up locks and strike plates can greatly increase a door’s kick-in resistance.”
- Install a high-quality deadbolt – or two. Whatever you do, don’t rely on a simple knob lock (built into the door handle) alone. Install a deadbolt above a knob lock. McGoey recommends:
- Use a solid core or metal door for all entrance points.
- Use a quality, heavy-duty deadbolt lock with a 1-inch throw bolt.
- Use a quality, heavy-duty knob-in-lock set with a dead-latch mechanism
- Use a heavy-duty, four-screw strike plate with 3-inch screws to penetrate into a wooden door frame.
- Use a wide-angle 160-degree peephole mounted no higher than 58 inches.
Today’s technology grows by leaps and bounds, which can be good for business, but can also increase your threat of security breaches from employees as well as those from the outside. When your sensitive information or intellectual property is compromised or stolen, your entire business could be at risk. In order to prevent this from occurring, the professionals at Dyezz offer quality bug detection services to protect your business. We help to eliminate the risk of sophisticated eavesdropping that can be done with the high tech equipment and bugging devices that pose a threat to businesses today.
Community steps up to help Austin Zoo following burglary
An overnight burglary, discovered at the Austin Zoo just hours before it opened on July Fourth, left the non-profit short $30,000 in cash and equipment. But now, the zoo says a flood of donations is helping them recover some of those losses.
Friday morning staff arrived to find the gift shop and front office ransacked.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Executive Director Patti Clark. “I think I was just absolutely overwhelmed that somebody would come and do this to a non-profit that takes care of animals. I mean it’s taking from our animals.”
They also took off with security cameras, radios, charging stations, a computer and dart guns.
“We’ve been trying to clean up the mess. We’ve had to replace doors already. We still have gates to replace. We’re starting to make our list of exactly what we’re missing,” she explained.
Clark said donations started pouring in almost immediately.
“It’s so gratifying! We had no idea we had so many friends!” she laughed.
Dyezz Surveillance and Security is donating new cameras. A locksmith from Buda already put in new locks at no cost. And many have given money and even setup an account online.
“It’s just so heartwarming to know people really do care about what we do out here and they care about our rescue animals and they want to help us out of this hole that somebody put us in,” Clark said. “When I walked in and I was by myself in the gift shop and I saw the destruction that someone had created for us to deal with I felt really alone and now all of us are starting to have smiles on our faces again. People are coming up to us and offering to make donations, offering assistance and we all feel like we’re all part of a generous and loving community.”
If you would like to help, a Go Fund Me account has been set up and you can find all of the information on the zoo’s website.
The sheriff’s office is investigating and there are no suspects at this time.