During this time of the year the northeastern part of the United States is still battling freezing cold temperatures along with snow and ice. Who can blame us if we dream about taking a break and escape to a warm and sunny location, even if it’s just for a week or two. But before you pack your bags and drive to Florida, hop on a flight to California or another warm-weather location make sure to winterize your home so you won’t come back to the unpleasant surprise of burst pipes or a break-in.
Before rushing out the door:
- Make sure your house is locked at all entry points. High quality locks for your doors and windows are a must.
- Install slide locks on sliding glass doors.
- Make it look like someone is in the house in the evening. It’s easy to do with timers that are set to turn on lights automatically at different times.
- Arrange for a neighbor or snow removal service to clear snow from your driveway, sidewalk and walkway.
- Leave your thermostat set at 55 degrees or higher to avoid frozen pipes.
- Shut off water to the washing machine and dishwasher to avoid leaks and broken hoses while you’re away.
- Shut off outdoor faucets to prevent freezing damage.
- Give an emergency key to a relative, friend or trusted neighbor and ask them to keep an eye on your home and also be available in case of an emergency. During extreme cold weather have them also check for ice dams.
- Leave a list with contact information for local service companies (electrician, locksmith, plumber, etc.) you trust and have worked with before.
- Do not post your vacation plans on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Criminals are looking for this type of information on social media sites.
With these precautions in place you don’t have to worry about your property and can enjoy your winter getaway.
Jim is a Connecticut licensed Master Locksmith with over 30 years experience. He’ll help you get the right locks for your Connecticut home. Simply email or give him a call at 860-678-9797.
With spring time finally here the real estate market is seeing a rise in home sales as people purchase new homes. After all, it’s part of the American dream to have your own home, white picket fence and all.
Here are three tips to improve security in a new home.
- New home owners should pay particular attention to the type of locks the contractor used. External doors should have a deadbolt lock in addition to the regular knob type lock. Deadbolt locks make it more difficult for burglars to break in and provide better security against a forced entry. There are many different type of deadbolt locks available that are decorative, add value to the home and provide an increased level of security.
- To deter entry through windows you’ll need more than the existing window latch. Casement windows can be secured with a device similar to a door bolt that locks with a key. To keep thieves from lifting a sliding door or window out of its tracks drive a screw through the track.
- Consider installing a security camera – they have become very affordable and many allow the homeowner to watch the house with a smart phone.
Have a question about how to improve door locks for your Connecticut residential property? Email Jim Arsenault or call him at 860-678-9797.
Summer time is vacation time and families look forward to spending time away and relax. Unfortunately empty houses present an opportunity for burglaries.
Here are 5 tips to help prevent break-ins.
- Good locks are essential. About 80 percent of break-ins happen because the burglar knows which locks to pick and which doors to kick in. A deadbolt lock is a good option for most residential dwellings.
- Get a security system. Just having the sign in the yard can be a ‘red flag’ for burglars who are checking the neighborhood for easy targets.
- Timers are a great option if you are going on vacation. With a timer the lights and the television can automatically be turned on so it appears someone is home. A dark house is an easy target for break-ins.
- Hide spare keys well. Don’t put them in obvious places, like under the door mat, close to the door the key belongs to, or in the flower pot.
- Stop mail and newspaper delivery. An overflowing mail box and newspapers piled up high by the front door are an open invitation to a burglar.
Need new locks to protect your family? Contact Jim Arsenault, your CT Professional Locksmith, or call him at 860-678-9797.
With spring right around the corner moving into a new home is on the list for many people. More families move in the spring than any other season.
It took a while to find the perfect house, but now you’re finally moving in. But do you know who else may have a key to your dream home? The previous owners may have given a second key to the neighbors to water the plants while the owners were on vacation, the babysitter, repair people, other family members and relatives. When someone uses a duplicate key to enter your house, there would be no sign of a forced entry. Even worse, the intruder could come back for more any time.
Continue reading Who has a spare key to your home?
We all know to lock our doors when we leave the house. But when it comes to social media activities many of us are inadvertently opening the door to expensive home damage and putting ourselves and our possessions at risk, according to the MetLife Auto & Home American Safety Pulse: Danger at the Door survey.
You’re surely not leaving your doors open for thieves to just walk in, but you might unknowingly invite burglars in via social media. According to MetLife Auto & Home’s safety poll, nearly 8 out of 10 (79 percent) people say they never leave their doors unlocked, under any circumstances. However, 15 percent of the total population report using social networking sites to post updates when leaving their homes, and more than double that amount, a full 35 percent of younger Americans (aged 18-34) “check in” to locations and tweet about their whereabouts. While these social notices help friends keep tabs on friends, they can also give burglars clues about the best time to strike — especially when updates or photos indicate that a person or family is away for an extended period, such as on a holiday vacation.
What can you do to protect yourself online? Use common sense and be careful what information you share. Unless your Twitter posts are private everyone can see your message, even if you’re just talking to your best friend. Facebook has added options so you can select who can see your post – take advantage of these privacy features. Talking about your travel plans is probably best kept for private messages with your friends and kept out of conversations with the virtual world.
We wish you a happy and safe Holiday Season and all the best for the coming year!