Locks keep out only the honest. – Jewish Proverb

You have deadbolts and possibly even a fence or alarm system. Even with these in place, you may still fall victim to burglary. In a recent article on SafeWise author Alexia Chianis shares: “. . .the United States leads the world in occurrence of burglaries and about four burglaries occur every minute; that’s one every 15 seconds.

Lesson? You need to be smarter than the people who are not honest.

Remember that a little common sense goes a long way when you are protecting your family, home and possessions from intruders.

Aside from investing in a home security system, here are a few tips to help you stay one step ahead of home intruders.


1. Don’t leave your spare key in obvious places

Your plastic rock isn’t fooling anyone. If someone wants to get into your home, it’s likely that they will look in the mailbox, above the door frame or in the flower pot. Find a unique place to hide it and consider sharing a spare with a trusted family member or friend. Don’t forget to remove it when you go on vacation. Here is a great article on ways to keep your home safe while you’re on vacation.

I was surprised to learn in this CBS news report that now tech savvy thieves can steal your house keys by taking a picture of them. Dave Johnson says Never leave keys unattended, and certainly don’t hand them off to strangers – keep them separate from car keys for times when you need to leave them with a valet or auto mechanic.”


2. Safeguard your checkbooks, and not in the same place as your passport

Even if you’ve moved most of your banking to paperless, chances are you still have a checkbook. It’s good to remember that checkbooks are the keys to your bank account.

As convenient as it may be, don’t store your blank checks in obvious places – like your desk drawer. It’s wise to put your checkbook under lock and key in a safe or at the very least a locked drawer. Remember that you shouldn’t store them with your passport, copy of your driver’s license, or any other documents that can be used as identification.

No one likes to think of having their home, privacy and bank accounts violated. I know a couple whose home was broken into and the criminals not only stole the checkbook and passports, they replaced the pictures and proceeded to spend money. It took them months to get everything resolved with the bank.

Here are a few helpful tips from Lu Ann Trevino, of The Trevino Law Firm in Houston, Texas, on What To Do When Your Check Book Is Stolen.


3. Put your valuables in a high quality anchored safe

Not all safes are created equal and shopping for one can be complicated. The Safe House, which specializes in commercial and residential safes, gun safes, and tornado shelters, gives excellent advice in their article The Top 10 things to know before buying a safe. Surprisingly they say “not to rely upon a fireproof safe against burglary.” You must make sure your safe is engineered and designed to protect your valuables against both burglar attacks and fires. 

Some super organized people feel that it is best to keep all important items in one place, but in actuality, having important items in different places is most often better in protecting against intruders. There is a big ‘however’ in this strategy. . .if you are the only one who knows where things are and something happens to you, you then create havoc for your loved ones and leave them without access to your most vital documents and possessions. Have you heard about the hidden safe discovered in a 200 year-old home that was filled with treasures?

The Torch is a fast, safe and easy way to give your loved ones instructions for who to call, where to look, and what to do in an emergency.



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