Vacations can be a time of joy, laughter … and burglaries. Yes, unfortunately, burglaries are more common than we’d imagine. Even daylight hours won’t deter some bolder burglars. To avoid becoming another crime statistic, follow these home security tips to make your home less attractive to burglars, thieves and other uninvited guests.Bright Lights
Crime experts agree that a well-lit home is much less likely to be broken into. Keep the exterior of your home illuminated on all sides. One of the best ways to burglar proof your home is to install motion-detector spot lights. They have built-in sensors that automatically turn the lights on when movement is detected in the area. Nothing is more surprising to a thief than to have spot lights fire up in his face – before he gets within 50 feet of the house.
To make the indoors burglar proof, use timer switches on lights. These simple devices cost only a few dollars each, yet can create the appearance of activity inside your house 24 hours a day. Use at least one timer per floor, usually in the living room and bedroom. Set the living room light to stay on from dusk until about midnight. In the bedroom, set the timer to keep the light on from about 9pm until 1 or 2 in the morning. Any criminal watching your home will think twice about breaking into a house that looks occupied.Low-Lying Landscape
Dark houses surrounded by tall trees or high bushes give burglars plenty of cover to do their dirty work. To burglar proof your landscape, keep trees cut away from the house and make sure the bushes are trimmed low. Thugs can hide in bushes while breaking in or even lie-in-wait, ready to attack the first person to get home.Alarm Systems
The cost of installing a good quality alarm system has come down in recent years due to increased competition and technology that makes installations simpler and quicker. In fact, some companies even offer to install “free” systems if you hire them to do monthly monitoring. Most home security systems connect your telephone to the company’s central monitoring station. If the alarm goes off, the station can alert police or fire officials.
One of the most common complaints about home security systems is excessive false alarms caused by malfunctions. If your alarm goes off all the time, neighbors and police may not take the alarm seriously if a real emergency exists. So, be careful when selecting alarm companies and check references carefully.Durable Doors
Making your doors as strong as possible can deter break-ins by violent criminals. There are several simple improvements to burglar proof your home:First, install a good quality dead-bolt. Doors with handle locks can be broken into with only a plastic credit card. Dead bolts, on the other hand, require hammer force to break in. Make sure you buy a dead bolt with a key on the outside and a thumb-latch on the inside. Locks that require keys to be used on the inside can be dangerous. If the house were on fire, for example, it could be difficult to find the key in time to get out safely. Next, remember that no matter which lock you choose, the lock is only as strong as the door itself. The weakest part of a door is usually the area around the lock. Wooden doors are especially vulnerable. But, decorative door reinforcement plates are available for about $10, and can make this area more secure and burglar proof. Sliding patio doors need special protection against break-ins. These doors are usually in the rear (less visible) areas of the building, making the door an attractive entry point for thieves. Patio door locks are weak and older doors can even be “lifted” out of their track and right off of your house. Purchase a specially made patio bar (about $25) to secure the inside door from being slid open or pried off if the lock is broken. If your door is newer, you may be able to get away with a 2 x 4 piece of wood cut to fit in the track between the sliding door and the wall. Newer doors can’t be lifted out of their tracks and the wood blocks will keep the door from opening if the lock is pried off by a burglar. Finally, be a “Peeping Tom” by installing a peep hole in your front door. Purchase a wide angle (200 degree) peep hole to check who’s knocking before opening the door. Weak Windows
Windows are usually the weakest link in home security. While there are many security devices to choose from, it is important to always keep in mind that windows must be easily opened by occupants for emergency exit in the event of a fire. Therefore, the security device you choose should not lock you in the building, but only keep burglars out.
Sash locks come installed on most new windows. These can be improved by drilling a hole from front to back where the top and bottom windows overlap and installing a long nail in the hole. If a thief breaks the lock, the nail will stop the windows from sliding open. The nails can be easily removed if you need to get out quickly. Sash locks are sometimes replaced with key operated locks, but these can be very dangerous. Like with the double-keyed dead bolts, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to find these seldom-used keys in an emergency.
Security bars installed over windows can also prevent intruder access. But, these must be fitted with quick-release mechanisms to allow them to be opened if someone in the building needs to get out quickly. In 1995, several members of a Florida family were burned alive when they became trapped inside their home because of window security bars. Fire officials later described the home as a “burning cage” and cautioned area home owners to use these bars only when necessary and ONLY if they are fitted with quick-release mechanisms.Easy Give-Aways
Piles of mail or newspapers around your front door are a sure sign that no one is watching the house. To keep your home burglarproof, make arrangements for deliveries to be discontinued for the time you’re away or ask a neighbor to collect your mail and papers. Also, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on things and even check the house periodically. Also, many police departments maintain what they call a “vacant house list”.
If you plan to be away for more than a day or so, especially during the holidays, check with your local police about such a list. In my town, the police will drive by and take a walk around the house almost every day to make sure the home is secure. They’ll also ask who has keys to the house and what cars should be in the driveway. If anything unusual shows up, they’ll know to go looking for an explanation. Also, make sure your house numbers are visible. Police and other emergency personnel can waste precious minutes trying to find your house if the number is not easily spotted.Plan a Retreat
If all else fails in the attempt to make your home burglar proof, plan a spot in the house to retreat to in the event your house is broken into while you’re home. Keep an extra cordless or cell phone in the room so you can easily contact authorities should the unthinkable ever occur.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
It won’t be long before winter starts to lose its grip and the warm spring breezes take over. After being shut up in the house during the coldest months you’re going to need a breath of fresh air. Opening the windows and doors is a great way to get the air moving as long as they’re properly screened. A standard storm door won’t let much air pass through, and they’re a pain to deal with. A retractable screen door, on the other hand, lets air flow through freely, and will help make your life happier and more comfortable in a few other ways too.What Is a Retractable Screen Door?
As the name implies, a retractable screen door is one that pulls back away from the door entry rather than swinging in or out. They’re fast becoming a popular choice for homeowners. There are two types of retractable screen doors available to suit any doorway from a standard entrance to a sliding patio door.Flexible Screen – This type of screen door is a flexible screen that’s drawn across the door frame when needed. When it’s not in use, the screen rolls up into a housing on the door jam where it’s stored. They’re used in both single doors and wider double doorways. The screens are held in place by a track at the top and bottom of the door frame and are very easy to operate. Flexible screen doors are also an excellent option when you don’t want to cover and otherwise beautiful, efficient entry door. Traditional Storm Door – For some homeowner’s it’s necessary to not only have a good screen door, but also a storm door to keep the elements at bay. The problem is, you need to store the screen somewhere when it’s not in use. A traditional storm style retractable screen door allows the glass to be dropped down and a screen to be easily pulled up anytime it’s needed and dropped when it’s not. Why You Need a Retractable Screen Door
Installing a retractable screen door at your front entrance, back door, French doors, or patio door will benefit you and your home in a few surprising ways.Storm Door Not Needed
When exterior doors were made of wood, adding a metal “storm” door was necessary to help keep the cold out. Today, however, metal and fiberglass exterior doors are the norm, and are far more efficient than those old wood doors, and no longer need a storm door to cover them. In fact, adding a storm door to a metal exterior door can even damage the door. On hot days, storm doors can make the exterior door so hot, the handle is too hot to touch and molding around any glass in that exterior door will actually melt!
But if you want to have a screen door option for the summer, without the hassles of adding a year-round storm door, a retractible “flexible” screen door is the perfect solution. It allows you to have a screen for the warmer seasons, doesn’t hide the beauty of a fiberglass or metal door, and won’t cause exterior doors to overheat.
Normally, your door screens are exposed all of the time, whether they’re being used or not. That’s great because they’re always available, but there is a downside. Screens attract dust, cobwebs and other debris and that makes it hard to see through. A retractable screen door stays hidden when it’s not in use so it can’t collect the crud that other screens do. You’ll finally be able to enjoy the view without the haze of dust.This Casper DIY self-install double retractable screen door, available on Amazon, is designed to be used with both in-swing and out-swing doors, including French Doors, Patio Doors, Front Entry Doors and other double door applications. Improved Health
The quality of your indoor air can have a major impact on your health and well-being. When your house is shut up, you’re basically breathing in the same recirculated air over and over again. That just aggravates your allergies and causes other respiratory problems. Fresh air is the key to improving indoor air quality and a retractable screen door is the fastest, easiest way to get the air moving so you can breathe easier.
Manage Kids & Pets Easier
If you hear the pitter-patter of little feet around your house, you know how hard it can be to get your kids and pets in and out of the house. The dog’s excited to go for a walk, the kids are dawdling, and you’ve got your hands full as usual. Thankfully, opening a retractable screen door only takes one hand and a little bit of effort. In fact, it’s so easy to use that you’ll wonder why you struggled with that old screen door for so long.
Better Home Organization
If you’re like most people, you’ve got a lot of stuff that you’re storing in your house and garage. Keeping everything organized is a challenge, especially if you’ve got kids around. Every year you embark on the same mission to find the screens that fit into your storm doors and every year it takes far too long. While a retractable screen door won’t solve all your storage problems, it will make your life slightly more organized.Impress Your Guests
If you’re the kind of person who loves to be the first to try out a new technology, or to own the most popular gadget, you need a retractable screen door. Your guests, family, friends, and neighbors look to you to show them the way when it comes to adopting the latest cool things. Don’t let them down. If you install a retractable screen door, everyone who sees it will be impressed.Conclusion
As the weather starts to warm up, don’t let the opportunity to let some fresh air in pass you by. Open up the windows and throw open the doors and let the breeze blow through. Don’t settle for a clogged screen in a clumsy storm door. Installing a retractable screen door is an easy DIY project that you can complete in less than an hour, but it will benefit you for years to come.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
Have you’ve ever opened a box stored in an attic or basement only to be totally freaked out by silvery, slimy alien-like insects that were calling it home? Meet the Silverfish! These paper-loving invaders will consume cardboard, ruin books and more – all while their fast, fish-like movement set the stage for nightmares to follow. Before you get totally grossed out, here’s what you need to know to get rid of Silverfish!What are they?
The Scientific name is Lepisma saccharina (Linnaeus), commonly known as the Silverfish. Their appearance is about 3/4″ long, silvery to brown in color, an elongated oval shape with 6 legs and an antenna. When they run they resemble a fish swimming. They tend to hide their presence from humans, which means any damage they have caused could go unnoticed as well.Photo credit: Pestworld.org Where do Silverfish hide?
They are nocturnal, so you may have had them for a while and not known it. Their favorite environment is dark, damp places. In your home that may be in the attic, basement, crawlspace, bathroom, laundry rooms, under the kitchen sink, around pipes, and in food storage areas where food is stored in cardboard or paper. They can be in areas that have books stored, either in boxes or on bookshelves. Paper and glue are a favorite food source, so they may eat the glue or wallpaper on your walls. Letting things pile up in your home is an invitation to Silverfish. Be aware of leaving piles of laundry on the floor, especially if it has become wet because this would an ideal environment for Silverfish.Signs of a Silverfish infestation
Besides actually seeing one or more silverfish, other telltale signs are holes in paper or cardboard, yellow stains, pieces of previously scaled skin, and feces which appear as small black specs. One or all of these things can point to an infestation. What can you do now?Photo credit: Pestworld.org How exactly do I get rid of Silverfish?
Keeping up with clutter in your home is the first step. Piles of things, books, textiles and more need to be de-cluttered. Make sure you don’t have any leaky pipes. Repairing them will cut down on the chance of Silverfish having a ready water source. Look for cracks and holes on the outside of your house that allow them inside. These may be in the foundation, around windows, at the siding, or shake roofing material that has not been kept sealed. The Silverfish can just walk in the door, however, because they are nocturnal, they are more likely to sneak in through cracks. These fissures need to be sealed so entry cannot be gained. A good all-weather caulk will usually do the job.Natural Home Remedies to Repel and Kill Silverfish Things that repel Silverfish, by their scent, include citrus fruit peels, cucumber peels, cinnamon, cloves, lavender oil, cedar oil, and sachets of herbs that have rosemary, eucalyptus, sage, and basil. All of the previous will also give a nice scent to your home. Mothballs are also a scent repellent but may be unpleasant to smell, and toxic to pets and children, if eaten. When using peels, replace them every few days. For the cinnamon, you can use sticks and place them among books on your bookshelf. The oils can be used in a diluted spray form. Diatomaceous Earth is a white powder that is food grade and harmless to humans but dehydrates Silverfish, thus killing them. Table Salt or Epsom Salts can be used in the same way as diatomaceous earth but may take a little longer. Silica Gel Powder is also used to dehydrate Silverfish. Contact with Silica Gel is harmless but is poisonous if eaten. Boric Acid will kill them as soon as they eat it. It will also dehydrate them and kill their eggs. Sealing Up Food will protect it from this pest. Put cereal, flour, and pasta in plastic with lids or glass with lids. A Dehumidifier will dry out the area, it is especially useful in basements, and will keep the area less attractive to Silverfish.
In addition to these natural remedies, there are a number of well-reviewed commercial products including convenient Silverfish packs, insect traps, and spray products that can provide a longer term barrier against reinfestation.
If the infestation is pervasive, it may be tie to contact a certified pest control expert. Pros have the experience, as well as access to pesticides that specifically target Silverfish and can quickly eradicate these pests.
Silverfish are classified as harmless to humans and do not spread disease, but can be voracious destroyers of paper, textiles, and contaminate food sources. Following the above suggestions can be a barrier to the Silverfish thinking your home is their home.
From Source Article: moneypit.com