Q: There have been a rash of car and home robberies in my neighborhood for the past few days. One of my friends had her house broken into last night while she’d been sleeping. I’m concerned that my house will be next if I’m not careful. Do you have any advice on how I could better secure my car and home?
A: Wanting to improve the safety of both your home and car are always good choices. When it comes to protecting both your home and automobile, it’s really nothing you haven’t heard before. That being said, it never hurts to brush up on the basics.
Let’s start with protecting your house. While it is the more important of the two, the steps you can take are much simpler.
When the weather starts to warm up, you’ll want to crack open the door, and a few windows to air out your house. This is fine, but when you open those windows or doors, make sure to close them again, and lock them before you leave or go to bed. A good amount of home break-ins happen due to the negligence of the homeowners. Often, robbers enter houses without actually breaking anything.
Don’t let people know when you’re leaving your house unattended. If you’re going out of town, try to keep that information need-to-know. Don’t post those vacation pictures on social media until after you return from your trip.
If you don’t have a home security system, I highly recommend that you get one. You can find a number of credible security companies on bbb.org, as well as other tips for protecting your home.
Most people aren’t worried about getting their car robbed because it is parked right outside their home, and that they would hear the alarm go off. What most people don’t know is that most car alarms will activate only if the car door is opened. Broken window or not, as long as a thief doesn’t try to open a car’s door, the alarm won’t go off. Don’t count on your car’s alarm to prevent it being broken into. In reality all you are counting on is losing the items you had in your car and having to get your car’s window replaced, which doesn’t come cheap.
One last thing: don’t leave anything in your car that you don’t want stolen. Don’t take the chance. Even something like a phone charger left in plain sight can be tempting. If you do have to keep important items in the car, be smart about how they’re stored. Keep belongings out of sight, either in your trunk or under a seat.
Action Line is written by Blair Looney, president and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems toAction Line at the BetterBusiness Bureau, 2600 W. Shaw Lane, Fresno, CA 93711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.