Home Safety Tips:
Home Defense

Home Safety Tips: Is your attitude putting you at risk? Learn how criminals trick you – and how to stop them dead in their tracks. Here's what to do when your doorbell rings.

DARTMOUTH MURDERS
Teenagers Robert Tulloch and James Parker went to random homes near Dartmouth University in New Hampshire - planning to kill and rob the homeowners. They cut the phone lines at one home and knocked on the door asking to use the phone, but the homeowner had a gun in his hand and they backed out. At another, they posed as students doing a project but the homeowner was too busy to help. They checked out more homes before finding Half and Suzanne Zantop, two professors well known for helping students. In a quiet, safe neighborhood, they let the boys in and were stabbed to death in a vicious frenzy.

THE GOLDEN RULE

The endless varieties of flimflam scams of predators all have the same goal: getting into your home to rob or attack you. That’s why all your family members must always know and trust the person knocking before the door is opened. Better yet, they should never open it without your permission. See scam-in.

TOOLS for HOME DEFENSE

Always using peepholes is an easy habit to develop – and foolish to disregard. Keep a stepstool nearby for youngsters.

Question your visitor through your closed door (though some predators purposely mumble to entice you into opening the door to hear them better). A wireless doorbell intercom is better (see Home Intercom System). It lets you talk clearly with a visitor (or just listen) without opening your door.

Also see door reinforcement and window reinforcement.

ALL-AROUND SECURITY

Along with verifying the identity of anyone knocking on your door, you really need to safeguard ALL your home entryways at ALL times – and wireless home security systems (for apartments and houses) would likely help prevent or mitigate most of the more than 6,000 home intrusions DAILY in the U.S. alone.


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