20 Tips For Residential Security

Excerpted from “Stalked: What You Can Do About It,” by Tino Struckmann

  1. Be alert of any suspicious persons.
  2. Positively identify callers before opening doors. Install a wide angle viewer in all your entrance doors.
  3. Install porch lights in front of your house.
  4. Install dead bolts on all outside doors. If at any time you cannot account for all keys, change your door locks. Place a dowel in sliding glass doors and sliding windows.
  5. Keep garage doors locked at all times. Use electric garage door opener. Be selective when buying electronic garage door openers, some use a signal easy for intruders to copy.
  6. Trim shrubbery. Install locks on fence gates.
  7. Keep fuse box locked. Have battery lanterns in residence. Always know where you have a flashlight. (Heavy duty flashlights can also be used as defensive weapons.)
  8. Maintain an unlisted phone number. Alert all household members to unusual and wrong number calls. If such activity continues, keep a log and notify local law enforcement agency.
  9. Any written or telephone threat should be investigated.
  10. When away from the residence for an evening, place lights and radio on a timer.
  11. For extended absences, arrange to have deliveries suspended.
  12. Keep doors and windows locked. And install motion sensors connected to lights or alarms. This can be done quite easily and cheaply.
  13. A family dog is one of the least expensive but most effective alarm systems.
  14. When out for walks plan different routes and keep irregular walking durations.
  15. Always park your cars in a secured garage when at all possible. If you don’t have access to a garage, park in a well-lit area.
  16. During vacations, etc., have someone pick up mail and newspapers. Never inform too many people of your pending holidays.
  17. Use a paper shredder for confidential documents such as account information and passwords.
  18. Bring mace or pepper spray with you when you go out and keep a large bottle by all entrance doors and in your car. Be aware that in some countries mace and self defence implements are not legal.
  19. Get a portable alarm button; these can be purchased from security companies.
  20. You can buy a remote camera starting from $60 so you can watch your house from anywhere on the internet. These devices are surprisingly easy to install and can be instructed to send a text message to your cell phone if activated by a motion detector.