This surveillance footage caught a Seattle thief in the process of breaking into a local residential building. There is additional footage of him burglarizing another property in the area. Security cameras are crucial in protecting your personal valuables and your family member’s safety, and are a versatile, low-cost addition to your property.
When a Seattle burglar broke into this veteran’s home for the second time, he got a rude awakening. Burglaries, or home break-ins, are the most common threat to families in the United States. Consider investing in the latest home security technology to decrease the likelihood of your possessions being stolen or your family’s safety being compromised.
With a large percentage of parents in the workforce today, teenagers are finding themselves at home alone in ever-increasing numbers. Any teenager who is capable of operating a smartphone, tablet or computer is smart enough to take responsibility for his or her own safety and well-being. Below are several tips that Seattle-area teens should remember when it comes to staying safe and secure at home.
Safeguard Personal Information
Everyone knows that teenagers love to share personal information, but there are some things that should be kept private. Telling an unannounced visitor at the door or a random person on the phone that your parents aren’t home is one of those things. Spreading first and last names, home addresses and parental work schedules around on social media and mentioning the location of hidden house keys are two more types of information leaks that every teenager should try to avoid.
Restrict Uninvited Guests
One of the most popular ploys that criminals use to gain entry into a home is appearing at the door dressed as a delivery person, utility worker or government inspector. Before letting anyone into your residence, however, you should do a little homework. If the person shows up on foot or in an unmarked vehicle or seems nervous or suspicious, you’re probably better off asking them to come back later or not answering the door at all. The same goes for a friend of a friend of a friend who turns up on the doorstep unannounced.
Secure the Premises
If you’re home by yourself, it’s your responsibility to ensure that all exterior doors and windows are secure. Checking the locks takes only a few seconds and doing so can make the difference between being caught completely off-guard by a stealthy intruder and having time to take action to prevent becoming a victim. Plus, even the most vigilant parent sometimes overlooks an unlocked door or window, so making sure that the doors and windows of your home are secured is a good idea even when you’re at home with other family members.
Use Discretion On-line
You may want all your friends to know about your upcoming beach vacation or that your parents are heading out of town on a week-long second honeymoon without you, but that’s just the type of information that criminals can use to their advantage. When it comes to social media, it’s best to leave out specific details about departure and return dates or, better yet, to make postings about trips once everyone is safely back at home.
Know How Your System Works
Being familiar with your home’s security system can give you an extra layer of protection when you’re home alone. Even if you think that you already know how your system works, have a parent show you how to set and disarm the alarm and actually practice these activities with them in the house so that you can operate the system with confidence. Knowing the proper usage of your home’s security system also reduces the chance of accidentally setting the system off and sending a false alarm to the local police.
Teenagers, with their limited life experience and open-ended willingness to exchange information with almost anyone, can be weak links in any residential security set-up, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By taking extra care and implementing a few simple precautions, every Seattle teen can help his or her loved ones protect and preserve the security of the family home.
There are so many things to think of when getting ready to go on a trip – packing, catching up on bills, making and checking on reservations, etc. One thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is taking steps to be sure that your home will be safe while you’re away. This is always important, but especially so when you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time.
Before you go, do a complete check of your house to make sure that everything is locked up. Check all of the window latches and, if you find that one is broken, either fix it or wedge a bar in the frame to prevent the window from opening. Be sure and insert a bar in any sliding glass doors tracks as well. Naturally, you will want to lock all of the doors to the house, including engaging any deadbolt locks. Don’t forget to lock the garage doors and any other entrance door to the garage as well. This prevents a would-be burglar from hiding from view while working on bypassing the door locks.
Arrange for Supervision
Having a house-sitter the entire time you’re gone would be an ideal situation. That way, it would be obvious to anyone watching the residence that someone is at home. Your house-sitter could make a point of turning lights off and on and opening and closing curtains. Of course, their comings and goings would be an obvious indication that the house is not empty. If you can’t find someone to stay the entire time, even having someone check on the house daily will make a difference. There are professional house-sitters available in the Seattle area that offer reasonable rates, or you could ask a friend or family member.
Use Timers on Electrical Appliances
In the absence of a human house-sitter, using timers on your lights and sprinklers will give the appearance that someone is at home. Set the lights to come on at a certain time in the evening and choose an automatic sprinkler schedule, if you don’t already have one in place. If you want to go all out, use separate timers to vary the lights that are used and the duration they are activated.
Be Cautious About Social Media
Many of us are in the habit of posting details about our schedules to a social media application – whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or some other platform. Just be careful when you’re going out of town. It’s much better to post photos after the trip than to talk about it ahead of time. You never know who’s going to end up seeing the information that you’ll be away with your home left unguarded.
Alert Your Neighbors
One way to give your home extra protection when you’re out of town is to let your neighbors know that you won’t be there. There have been instances in Seattle of neighbors who stood by as a home was being robbed because they weren’t aware that no one was supposed to be at home. Choose a trusted neighbor to collect your mail and store it for you because an overflowing mailbox is a sure sign that you are away. You can always do the same for them when they go on a trip.
Expect the Unexpected
If you follow these tips, the chances that your home will remain safe and untouched while you’re away will be greatly increased. Taking extra steps to barricade vulnerable areas like windows and sliding doors, asking someone to look in on your place or stay there, and using timers to turn the lights on and off are helpful tools to safeguard your home. Enlist your neighbors’ help in watching out for anything out of the ordinary, and remember not to advertise too widely that you will be out of town. These are all common sense tips that will give you peace of mind while you’re away from home.