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While it is difficult to protect your home or business from professional theives, the overwhelming majority of break-ins are done by amateurs.  Amateur thieves can be deterred from breaking in by using a few simple precautionary measures.

Take a couple minutes to help protect your home, business, and loved ones by taking a look at the following tips to see if you can better secure what matters to you.

        Lock your home and business everytime you
        leave, even if for a short period of time.  Many
        break-ins occur via unlocked doors and windows.

        Change all the locks or re-key them immediately
        after moving to a new location.

        Invest in portable timers for indoor lighting if you
        are gone for extended periods of time.

        Install an alarm system.  If you have an alarm
        system and it false alarms often, have it fixed
        immediately and notify the neighbors.  Most
        people will ignore alarms that sound often.  Also
        make sure to display your alarm sign prominently.

        If you lose a set of keys, re-key or change the
        locks immediately.

        Before handing out a copy of your key to house
        cleaners, baby sitters, or neighbors, make sure
        the person is reputable and honest.  Check all
        references thoroughly.  Remember that anyone
        can make a copy of your key anywhere unless
        you have a patented key control product.

        Place your home and business keys and car keys
        on two separate key rings.  When you are having
        your car worked on, there is no need to hand
        over copies of your other keys as well.

        Don't leave notes for family members or service
        people on the door.  To theives, these are
        welcome signs.

        If the entrances to your home or business are
        poorly lit, invest in outdoor motion lights.

        Talk to your neighbors about any suspicious
        people or strange vehicles you notice lurking
        around.

        When landscaping your home or business,
        understand that trees or shrubbery located near a
        window or door may act as a shield for a burglar.

        If anyone comes to your door asking to use the
        phone to call a mechanic or the police, keep the
        door locked and make the call for them.

        Dogs are good deterrents also.  Even a small
        noisy dog can be effective. Most thieves do not
        want any attention drawn to their presence.

        If you have plans to be away from home that have
        been publicized through a funeral, wedding, or
        similar notice, hire a house sitter. Many theives
        read the papers to see who may be planning to
        be away from home for several days.   

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