Home Safe Home: How your home attracts an invader - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Home Safe Home: How your home attracts an invader

He's the go-to guy for personal safety.  Oprah has him on speed-dial.  CNN and MSNBC call him first after a high-profile abduction or crime against person/property.  Now America’s Safety Expert Bob Stuber (http://bobstuber.com/bob.htm) has joined the Action News 5 Investigators right here in Memphis to help us equip YOU with the techniques to protect your home from a home invasion.

I. HOW YOUR HOUSE ATTRACTS AN INVADER

     A. Landscaping
          1. Bushes and shrubs should be trimmed below the window line.  Alarm signs should be prominently displayed in the yard, and alarm system stickers should be on your windows – even if you don't have an active alarm system (generic signs can be purchased at home improvement and hardware stores).  Stuber says burglars pick homes that are unkempt, with shrubs that provide easy hiding places.
          2. Plant shrubs that have thorny leaves – they are a deterrent to would-be thieves.  Also, consider using landscaping netting in your flower beds.  Bad guys get tangled up in it!

     B. Points of Entry
         
1. Beware leaving ladders just leaning against your home or parking tall vehicles next to your house.  They provide easy access for home invaders, even to your second floor.  Stuber and the Action News 5 Investigators spotted this problem at a home in Central Gardens, East Memphis.

"The van is parked in the driveway in such a way that the burglar or home invader can step up on to the van, and from the van, it's just a real easy step on to the house," said Stuber.

     C. The "Lights Indicate Shadows" Principle
          1. Conventional wisdom says you should leave your outdoor security lights and front/side door overheads on all night long to deter criminals.  Stuber says that’s a big mistake. 

"It’s a roadmap for a crook to see where the shadows are around your house," he says.  "That’s how they decide where to hide."

          2. Stuber says your home should be dark – with your security lights operating on motion detector systems. 

"It should be dark outside so that when they walk up to the house…boom!" says Stuber.  "That light performing that action is what really has a good chance of chasing them away."

II. GETTING INSIDE

     A. NEVER leave your garage door opener in cars parked outside your garage, in your driveway or carport, etc.  Stuber says that is essentially the key to your house.  Take the opener in with you, just like you would your car keys.

     B. Have a reliable alarm system that automatically alerts police/fire/EMS.  Set the alarm’s delay for NO MORE THAN 10 SECONDS.  That should be plenty of time for you to unlock the door, get inside and disarm the system.  Stuber says too many people program the delay for 45 or 60 seconds.

"In 60 seconds, a bad guy could be in, get his job done, and already be on his way out," Stuber says.

     C. DO NOT HAVE GLASS DOORS.  Stuber says burglars can break through them, then compromise the door without tripping the alarm system.  He says use only solid, NEW wood doors or metal/steel doors with deadbolts keyed ON BOTH SIDES.

          1. Door Security Products Recommended by Bob Stuber

               a. LockJaw (http://www.lockjawsecurity.com).  This is a device that fits over the lever of a one-sided key deadbolt.  When installed, it locks the lever side of the deadbolt in place so someone cannot pick or bump the lock.

               b. Door Jamb Armor (www.djarmor.com).  This device prevents a door from being kicked in.

          2. Door Security Products Recommended by the Action News 5 Investigators

               a. Jamb Enforcer (www.absolutesecurityproducts.com).  Manufactured in Bartlett, Tennessee, this product prevents the forced entry of steel doors.

III.  THE BAD GUY’S INSIDE!
     A. Get Out By Any Means Necessary
          1. Break a window.  Move furniture in the way of your pursuer.  Toss kitchen utensils – or consider keeping a bowl of decorative marbles on the kitchen counter to toss right on the floor – anything to stall the pursuit and buy you time to get out of the house.
          2. Fire Extinguisher
               a. “It’s non-lethal (if you don’t own firearms or don’t know how to use firearms),” says Stuber.  “(The spray) comes out with such force, it really affects all of the bad guy's senses, and that's what freezes the guy, makes him turn and run.”

     B. Safe Room
          A. If there is no way to escape the house, prepare a large walk-in closet or small guest room as a safe room where you can lock yourself inside.
               1. Deadbolt the safe room’s door with a deadbolt that has key access ON BOTH SIDES.
               2. Safe Room Supplies
                       a. Cell phone or cordless phone to call authorities
                       b. Light source (flashlight w/extra batteries, glow sticks)
                       c. Fire Extinguisher or firearm if trained in gun use and safety.
                       d. Car Key w/ Panic Button feature
                                1. “Everybody has a panic button, and it's the one that's on your key chain for your car,” Stuber says.  “If you hold that button down, your car horn will blare incessantly, and that’s a great way to get help.”

 

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