Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Home Security Tips and Products from Master Lock

Recently, three homes in our neighborhood were burglarized. The thieves struck in broad daylight, smashing glass doors and quickly grabbing jewelry and electronics. According to burglary statistics from the Department of Justice, fall and winter seasons see more home thefts than any other time of the year. That’s why Master Lock, the world’s largest manufacturer of padlocks and related security products, wants to remind families during this season to evaluate and refresh their safety plans. Following are their tips to help you prepare and protect your home and family from potential risks.

1. Inspect to Perfect. Home improvement projects are a popular fall activity as families perform necessary maintenance to prepare their houses for long winter months. Take advantage of this time to conduct a mini home inspection to ensure your household basics are functioning. Make sure the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are fully charged, and verify your fire extinguisher has not expired.

2. Lock-It-Up for a Touchdown. From football tailgates and apple picking to study groups and fall sports, families tend to be very active during the fall months, often entertaining guests in the home. With everyone coming and going more frequently, be sure that all points of entry to the home are secured, including windows, entryways and garages. Master Lock has a few products that can help:

Cable locks like the 8127TRI keyed alike family 3-pack are ideal for securing items that may be stored outside such as storage sheds, grills, tools, lawn equipment, and bikes that won’t be used again until spring.

I love these colorful cable locks! We reserved a couple for our twins’ bikes -- you can see the blue one wrapped around one of their bikes below -- ready for use. We’re sending the third one up to our son at college because he plans to get a bike to get around campus, and the cable lock will help to protect it against theft. These cables are really strong to resist getting cut!

• The 265D door security bar is perfect for adding extra resistance against forced entry to a sliding glass or traditional hinged door.

• A key safe such as the 5400D or 5401D is a convenient way to always have a spare key securely stored where you need it. This set-your-own combination lock box holds up to five keys and can be easily affixed to the doorknob or something permanent nearby, ensuring keys are always readily available. A key safe is a great solution for kids who may be coming home to an empty house after school or activities.

3. A Beacon of Safety. In an emergency, police should be able to clearly see your home and identify your house number from the street. Regularly prune landscaping around your doors, windows and entryway, and consider installing lights above doors and near your garage or carport. In addition, a well-lit, easily visible home is much less tempting to a potential burglar. Don’t forget to double-check outdoor light timers to adjust for the change in daylight hours or try solar options that charge themselves and turn-on on automatically.

4. There’s No “I” in Team … or Safety. Engage the whole family in safety and security planning and schedule a meeting to review house rules, such as curfews, lock-up procedures and what kids should do if they’re home alone. Assigning roles to each family member (i.e. Dad is in charge of closing garage door every night, John checks that the front door is locked, etc.) is a great way to get everyone involved, learn by doing, and share the responsibility.

5. ICE It. Whether your children are headed to an after school practice or spending time in the neighborhood with friends, make sure they always have their In Case of Emergency (ICE) contact information with them. Add parent or guardian names to their cell phone contacts labeled with ICE, name and relationship (i.e. ICE John Dad) and/or include a simple card in their backpack to help any adult reach Mom or Dad if needed.

For more information about these fall security solutions (and more), please visit Master Lock’s website at www.masterlock.com or the Master Lock Facebook page at www.facebook.com/masterlock.


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