Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Your Home Security-Never Before Revealed-How Burglars Case Homes


What makes a burglar choose a specific home as a target to break into? Are there certain things that make a certain home more appealing? Are there things that homeowners can do to make their home less appealing? This article will reveal some of the shocking never before revealed insights burglars have made in the past when selecting a home to break into. If home security has ever been important to you this is one of the most important articles you will ever read.

One of the first things a burglar looks at is ease of entry. As a burglar drives through a neighborhood he observes a large number of things in a single glance. One of the first things they notice is the layout of the neighborhood. Neighborhoods with street layouts that allow them to see multiple sides of a single home or multiple homes are more attractive. Homes that are located on corners are very appealing. Homes that have walking trails that pass behind them, through wooded areas, are also prime targets.

The ability to see multiple sides of a home lets the burglar see if the home has a sliding door, French doors or an enclosed patio with a window above it. The burglar can see the crawlspace door and if it is secure. With multiple vantage or viewpoints a window left open is obvious. Tools and ladders left unsecure is also something they can quickly survey.

Siding doors are easy targets because they can often be lifted from the track and pulled out or simply pried open. French doors are also easy targets because they are generally located in the rear of the home and can easily be kicked in. The crawlspace is a perfect access point because many homes have ductwork for their air handler in the crawlspace. This ductwork can be pulled down and a small criminal can gain entry through a large vent cover that holds the air filter.

If the home has an enclosed patio, there is normally deck railing that can be used as a step from the outside to climb onto the roof. Normally the burglar is looking to reach a window located above the porch. Windows located on the second floor are often unsecure and most security or alarm companies do not place security devices on the second level. If the master bedroom is on the second floor this is a goldmine for a burglar, because that is where they will easily find guns money and jewelry.

Installing a screw in the top track of a sliding glass door will prevent it from being removed from the track. A dowel rod or cut off broom stick behind the door is a valuable way to fortify a sliding door. French doors like all entry doors in the home should have reinforced strike plates installed with extra long screws. The dead bolt should be high security locks that are bump key resistant. Protect the crawlspace by replacing the hinge screw with star bolts and installing a U-style lock that is bolt cutter resistant is an easy and cost effective means of securing the crawlspace. If you have an alarm or security system and a flush mount security contact was not installed originally, call several companies if you are out of your contract, and have a security upgrade assessment where the crawlspace contact can be addressed.

Some of those things may have seemed obvious but were you aware that a quick casing of your home by a burglar that sees that older children especially teenagers live in the home makes the house a prime target.
Homes with teenagers are far more likely to have doors left unlocked. Think about it and you’ll realize the truth in that statement.

From the front of the home the burglar can see what door you use to enter the home. If there is a lot of dust on the front patio and no well worn trail leading down the steps then that is not your normal entry point. Also, if there are cobwebs and solicitation pieces left on the door knob - which appear to have been there for a long period of time; it is obvious that the door is not the primary point of entry. Burglars can also see the type of lock on the door and whether there is a screen door with an outer lock. If the screen door is left unlocked and the door is fitted with a traditional lock and deadbolt –it is an easy door to kick in. Burglars can also see if there are gaps between the door and the door jam, which makes the door easier to pry open.

Burglars will often use the same door you use to enter the home because it is more likely to left open especially if there is a screen door because most people will be too lazy to lock it. If the home has a security system the installation design may aid the burglar because many run of the mill companies place the keypad in plain view of the primary entry door allowing a burglar to see if the system is on or off.

Even if the security system is armed and the crook knows by observation of the security yard sign that the company being advertised as monitoring it is no longer in business: they know it is just a noise maker and can quickly get past it before it makes any noise. This is because the door you use for entry has a delay on it to give the homeowner time to enter the code before the audible alarm sounds. All the burglar has to do is kick in the door and pull the sounder of the wall and then take anything they want.



If the home has windows that are not covered by drapes or blinds or the drapes and blinds are open the valuables such as wide screen televisions, computers, gaming systems and blue-ray players can be seen. Now they know that you have things worth stealing and your home becomes far more appealing.

If your home doesn’t have a garage burglars are often aware that you are not home. Even having a garage can give a burglar, posing as a random door to door solicitor, valuable information. If the garage has little windows the crook can see if you have a garage door opener with a red cord hanging down. He can also see tools and hobby items that are worth taking. Simply knocking out the small window pane closest to the garage door opener and reaching through with a grab stick and pulling the red cord, releases the tension on the garage door opener allowing the door to be raised.

Blacking out the windows and removing the red tag are simple fixes that can make the home more secure. Also installing a glass-break detector or a garage door contact tied to a monitored security system are valuable measures you can take to help fortify the garage.

A burglar can tell quite a bit from your landscaping. If there are large bushes that cover windows, the burglar may have an enticing entry point.
If the yard has high grass compared to other homes in the community it may indicate that you are away from the home on vacation.

When a burglar sees your name on a placard on the home- like ones that read Jones family established 1999, they know who you are and can research more information about you online and through the phone book.

Far too many people have too much information online as to their schedules and what they will be attending and where. I constantly advise people not to broadcast there goings and coming in public and what is more public than the internet using social media sites.


As a homeowner it is possible to make your home less attractive to burglars casing the neighborhood but it takes a plan. Having a complete home safety and audit that addresses 48 areas of concern is something I provide at no cost to my clients and perspective clients. If you are located in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Mebane, Knightdale, Clayton, Garner, Creedmoor, Hillsborough, Goldsboro or surrounding areas and are considering a home security system or home security upgrades give me a call at (919)949-9690 or email me at jimmcneely@whensafetymatters.com. Thanks for following the blog and pass the site link on to everyone you think can benefit from it contents.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dangers of Purchasing a Security System over the Phone


A security system is a necessity, but there are dangers when purchasing that system from a phone solicitation. It is becoming more common for home security companies to employ the tactic high pressure phone solicitation to gain more installs and increase their bottom line profitability. Although the security companies do provide what they solicit, it is often not in the best interest of the consumer’s needs.

One of the main reasons many unwary consumers believe that the deal presented to them by the security company is a good deal is due to what I call company pairing for profitability. The term company pairing for profitability means that two or more companies come together and refer each other for the sole purpose of profit. When company (A) refers company (B) and Company (B) makes a sale they give company (A) some of the profit. When this type of arrangement is made the referring company, which you are already doing business with, might not have your best interest at heart, because they are receiving a kick back. In some cases the referring company has no fear of losing your business due to a bad referral because they are the only provider of that service in the area- namely the power company.

So if you are relocating to the area or moving service from one place to the next decline the option to hear about alarm service even if it is from a major company that you recognize. The reason is phone solicitation deals allow no room for consumer negotiation and provide the maximum profitability for the company. There is different pricing and packages between dealers representing the same company and the corporate office. This means that due diligence is a must. One of the main reasons to abstain from phone solicitation deals is the security company offering the deal has a basic package that provides a sense of security but not full security or the best equipment options.

The notion that all you need is three door contacts and a motion is a far cry from full security that addresses fire, medical emergency, glass break technology, flood detection and system aesthetics. In most cases a consumer that purchases over the phone will receive a wireless panel with 3 bulky door sensors, and a motion detector. The keypad, siren and circuit board are combined. This poses a risk because most companies do not place a tamper switch on the back of the panel to keep it from being snatched from the wall by an average criminal that kicks in the front door because he knows that it has a delay of 20-30 seconds. There are hard-wired systems that are available where the keypad, siren, and master-control circuit board are separate. The master-control is secured inside a metal can that is locked. It is also advisable to place a tamper contact on the can or the door that leads to its location. The contacts are also hidden providing a much more polished look. There are some instances when wireless is the only option but the consumer is not given any choice when they purchase over the phone.

Consumers often fail to realize that the security system needs to be custom designed to fit their unique needs. This should be done by an on sight review of the property. This allows the consumer to take their time, ask questions and have the involvement of all the people who would be using the system.

Consumers purchasing a security system over the phone have not read the contractual agreement that in some cases could have them obligated for 5 years.

Consumers purchasing a security system over the phone will pay a higher price for additional equipment than if they had shopped around.

Finally, consumers purchasing a security system should have an agent that will stand by them not only during the sale but after. If you wouldn’t purchase a home without a quality real estate agent or purchase insurance without a quality insurance agent- you should not purchase a security system without a quality agent. Quality agents have years of experience, their profiles can be researched online, and they have references.

For additional information on this topic, contact Jim McNeely, Residential and Commercial Security Agent at jimmcneely@whensafetymatters.com or at (919) 949-9690. For some of the best deals in home security go to http://trianglehomesecurity.com.