Find a Good Opening

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Find a Good Opening
House Key in a Haystack

If you must hide a spare key, try this: The key under your flower pot opens a storage shed on your neighbor's property. Among the many items inside the shed is toolbox, at the bottom of which are a dozen spare and random keys, one of which opens your home. The key under your flower pot is unlikely to be tried on the neighbor's shed. Your key is hidden among what appears to be a pile of old spare keys, which are typically deemed old keys of unknown origins. Your key, hidden in this fashion, is not likely to be linked to your house and provides an effective, albeit time-consuming, method for hiding a spare key.

Warm spring days and crisp fall air make open windows irresistible -- especially to burglars. Thieves think nothing of walking the circumference of your home, trying each door, window and cellar opening until one relents to prying hands. Of course, first-floor windows and doors are more susceptible, but climbable trees and tables used as makeshift ladders place second-floor windows in as much risk.

Even when home, families should ensure their doors and windows are closed and locked; unattended or dark parts of the occupied homes are vulnerable. Consider bustling dining rooms and kitchens during dinners, when second floors can become targets for quiet burglars. Or consider the dark second-story bedroom where someone is sleeping near a wide-open window.

More about easy entries:

  • Knob locks are easily jimmied using credit cards; deadbolt locks aren't. All doors need deadbolts.
  • A word about hiding spare keys: don't. Burglars know to examine flower pots, ledges and bushes. Best to stash spare keys is in the hands of neighbors.
  • Heavy rods in tracks prevent opening of sliding glass doors fully. Other professionally installed mechanisms prevent tampering with screws that secure doors and frames.
  • Burglars break windows, so keep yards free of bricks and heavy rocks.
  • Security companies can help with kick-resistant doors, window mechanisms that limit openings and break-resistant glass.
  • Check access when workers leave. Even with an alarm, workers may open doors or windows from the inside in preparation for a later break-in.
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