Do you use the “Better Safe Than Sorry” philosophy with your home and business, or leave security up to chance? Have you installed the appropriate locks, windows and security systems to protect your loved ones, possessions, employees and assets?
We will be visiting with Justin Saucier of Denali Security Systems to learn his best tips for keeping yourself and your interests safe – at home, at work and beyond. For this first installment, we will start off with a surprising risk to your home security: social media.
A common strategy for homeowners going on vacation or otherwise traveling away from home is to put a lamp on a timer to turn on in the evening and off in the morning. The idea is to create the appearance that someone is indeed home. A dark home at seven in the evening is a dead giveaway that the house is empty. Having a trusted friend or neighbor pick up mail and newspapers is another strategy to help maintain the illusion.
Neither of these plans provide much protection if the homeowner’s Facebook wall is covered with photos of living it up in Las Vegas. Social media updates potentially provide a gold mine of information for would-be burglars. Many people are extremely discriminate about accepting friend requests from strangers or vaguely known acquaintances, but more people are less discerning. It is very possible that a questionable friend request is more insidious than friendly. Avoid accepting friend requests from strangers and be wary of which posts are viewable by friends only or everyone.a
Saucier recommends keeping all travel plans top secret except from your closest family and friends. If you want to share your trip out of town on social media, wait until you have returned home to post photos and details.
In addition to protecting the information about an empty house, homeowners have many options for keeping their home secure while they are away. Securing the strike plates on entryways with 3-inch screws renders them much less vulnerable to being kicked in. Similarly, hinges can be reinforced with larger screws to increase security. Some additional loose ends worth tying up are ensuring that gates into any back or side yards are secured and locked, and that ladders are chained to prevent entry from upper level windows.
Check back next week for additional tips for protection and security.
Sara Kennedy is a special education teacher in the Anchorage School District. She likes to swim, bike and run around Alaska, and camp and fish with her family. To reach Sara, email: [email protected].