Home security can get a little overwhelming sometimes. A simple Internet search of "home security" produces thousands of results, each page advocating products and practices that will keep you and your home safe. With so many home security trends and tools, how do you figure out what works and what doesn't?
Are you security-savvy? Is your home a fortress, or are you rolling out the welcome mat for potential burglars? Take this quiz to find out how much you know about effective home security.
1. Darn it! You've locked yourself out of the house again. It's a good thing that you left a spare key:
A. Buried in the flowerpot
B. Hidden under the doormat
C. At your trusted next-door neighbor's house
Correct answer? C. You should never leave a spare house key anywhere outside your home. It's the oldest trick in the book, and burglars know it. Leave a spare key with someone you trust instead.
2. The best guard dog is:
A. A giant Rottweiler
B. A yappy Chihuahua
C. An intimidating German Shepherd
The answer is: All of the above. You don't need a ferocious guard dog to ward off potential criminals. Studies suggest that the barking of any dog is enough to scare away the average thug.
3. The key to an effective home alarm system is:
A. Spending big bucks on the latest technology
B. Remembering to set your alarm every time you leave the house
C. Putting the little metal sign in your front yard
Correct answer? B. Even the most expensive alarm system you can afford won't protect you if it's not armed. Always take the extra time to set your alarm, even if you're just leaving the house for a couple of minutes.
4. I live in an apartment, so I should rely on my landlord or management company to provide security.
And the answer is . . . False. Even if your landlord makes tenant safety a top priority, you should make a point to step up security in and around own apartment. Always lock your doors and windows, and never open the door to anyone you don't know. Consider investing in a wireless alarm system - you get all of the benefits of a hard-wired system, but you can take it with you when you move.
5. I just moved to a safe neighborhood, so I shouldn't worry about crime.
False. Crime can happen anywhere. From big, crowded city blocks to peaceful gated communities, everyone needs to make home security a priority.
Home security trends come and go. But the truth is common sense and a few basic precautions can help you protect your home from burglars. It's OK to try the latest security fads like barking alarms and nanny cams, but don't get so caught up in home security trends that you forget the cornerstones of defending your house and family. You don't have to be trendy or spend thousands of dollars - you just have to be smart and aware of your surroundings.
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