These simple, low-cost strategies can make your house less attractive to thieves.
- Trim your hedges so no windows or doors are obscured, advises Richard Soloway, of Napco Security Systems, in Amityville, New York. Make sure all potential entry points are well lit too.
- Install dead bolts on doors, says David Sylvester, a safety expert with the Ingersoll-Rand Security Company, in Carmel, Indiana.
- Park a car in your driveway to give your place a lived-in look.
- Post a "Beware of Dog" sign. Who cares if the dog is your child's stuffed Clifford?
- Change your answering-machine message from "Nobody's home right now" to "We can't get to the phone right away."
- Ask a trusted neighbor to collect your mail and newspapers when you're gone.
- Put lights on timers so they switch on and off regularly.
Copyright © 2004. Reprinted with permission from the November 2004 issue of Parents magazine.