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November 11, 2008


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Signs are easy to get - find a friend who has a contract with a security company, in my case Mom and Dad. They just asked for extra signs and gave them to me. I was at a home fair, after listening to the spiel from the security company my first question was, "How much for just a sign?" The guy got a very sour look on his face but gave me a resigned look of knowledge.

Good post, FMF. I think these days they're mostly after iPods and cellphones and laptops (easy to sell) than jewellery (hard to sell). In addition to cash of course.

As well as motion sensor lights, we use lights on timers - when we're away they come on in the evening and off in the morning. Another tip is to leave your handbag and your mp3 on the kitchen table. Take your ID out, but if someone breaks in let them grab your bag and iPod, see a little bit of cash, be satisfied, and get the hell out of your house. You don't want to run into them on the hallway, as my mother did years ago.

I read something the other day which said that in general burglars aren't great planners. They walk down a street, and mentally think "that house is a possible", "that house looks tough" ... what you want is many things as you can to get your place into the "looks tough" category, which could include closed windows, a dog, locked side gates, security signs, exterior lighting, etc.

Motion Sensor floodlights around the house always seemed the best way to go. When that light pops on yards from the house, you've got to assume a thief would just move along. Security systems don't do anything until someone is actually breaking into your house.

Plus its nice to have the lights pop on when you come down your driveway at night.

Among other things, my parents did do 8 (yes, "really"! this is Europe though). The police recommended mostly extra locks, which are also a quite costly and a hassle (had it been my house, I wouldn't have bothered).

Get a dog with a loud, deep bark that responds to any outside noise. I have two black labs that live inside and might lick a stranger to death but when they hear strange noises outside our house, they move toward the noise and bark like killers. Any burglar that hears that is going to move on down the road. Much better than any alarm system (we have one of those also).

Good suggestions.

The security signs can easily be found online at websites such as eBay. However, if you have a good friend or family member that already has a contract with an alarm service, they can easily order additional signs (usually at no cost) and share them with you.

I would also recommend that people leaving their cars outdoors should take their automatic garage door opener in with them at night. Burglars are very savvy about breaking into the car, snagging the remote and quickly getting into your garage and gaining access to more valuable items. Also, newer garage openers have a LOCK button on the wall unit that makes your remotes inoperable when depressed.

Lastly, if you are wanting the comfort and security of an alarm system but don't want the monthly fees and long-term contracts, look into a self-monitored system. You can usually pick up a good one for less than a couple hundred dollars. When these alarms are triggered, they can call your cellphone, or a nearby neighbor.

I agree with Mr. Toughmoneylove - I have a rott, a mastiff mix, and two pits, all of whom are gentle dogs, but the very fact that they are there is a massive deterrent. This only works if the dogs live inside, though (one of many reasons dogs belong inside!)

I think having dogs is a huge deterrant too. I live in a neighborhood where houses are constantly being broken into. And even the occasional armed robbery outside people's homes. I feel a lot safer with my large black lab and other smaller dogs in the home. I agree with "Jen" about the dog needs to live inside. I never understand people who think their dog is going to be any kind of security stuck in a yard or even worse chained up.

I do want to get a security sign for out front though. And we have the motion lights, my husband just hasn't installed them yet.

I'm with the dog folks. We have 2 - a chocolate lab and a pointer mix that have a pretty mean sounding bark at times. Sometimes even just a car door slamming down the street will set them off. Annoying at times, yes, but a nice protection factor. I second the lights, we also have a faux gas-light style in our front yard that lights up our house and cars pretty well and has a daylight sensor.

Well our car was broken into early Monday morning and the thief made off with a few grand in tools. Add never keep anything of value in your car to the list! Also, I have 4 dogs who usually bark at everything. They never made a peep that night, guess they're not on duty at 3:30 in the morning. They would scare the crap out of anyone who tried to break into the house, I have one who bites first and asks questions later.

We're thinking of adding a camera or two with a hard drive to monitor the front of the house, cars and driveway now. I also had my car vandalized two years ago. It might not deter crime, but I'd be happy with catching them at least. The cops dusted the truck for prints this morning, I'm hoping the guy(s) are in the system.

I am with the dog people. Have a border collie/Aus Shepard mix who loves the whole world but has a lovely deep woof! We have the motion detectors too, and I love them. When we had the old aluminum sliding windows, we put dowel rods in the tracks so they couldn't be opened from the outside. Got that one from my Father-in-law.

My grandma lives in a ritzy suburb of San Diego (she moved in before it was ritzy). She has two huskies, one chained and one roaming, and she's the only house within a mile that hasn't been robbed. That's another dog vote.

Close the windows; lock the doors. You would be astounded how often places are simply left open.

All the above great ideas, small dogs may not be great protection but are better alarms, also they can sleep inside so less chance of them being poisoned. Living in Africa is VERY different from anywhere in the USA. I lived in an average suburb, in a gated community, there are 56 houses in our complex. We have a 2meter high wall around the perimeter with electrified fencing above the wall, we have a security company with armed guards for all the common areas, most houses have radio linkage for armed response to the security company. I had buglar bars to all opening windows and security gates to all doors. In the 2 years that I lived there we had 1 attempted break in (my 16 year old son was home and chased them off) We had 5 break-ins, the last I was home alone and at 4am 3 armed robbers held me hostage for over an hour. So while bemoaning the security in your towns/cities please say a pryer for all of us in third world countries who have real problems with safety.

We use a security system, so we have the signs. But don't trust they'll always be there. During one of the neighborhood sales rounds, I saw the salesmen remove signs from homes that no longer used their service!

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