Marianne Avila - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty



Posted by Marianne Avila on 11/1/2020

There are a lot of advantages to living in a low-crime neighborhood, such as family safety, peace of mind, and a minimal risk of getting your personal property stolen.

Perhaps the only downside of living in a relatively secure, desirable part of town is that you might let your guard down completely. When that happens, especially on a regular basis, you're creating a vulnerability that could eventually be taken advantage of. That's why is pays to be consistent when it comes to locking doors, teaching your kids good security practices, and always making your home appear as if someone's home.

Your home IS your castle and -- short of building a moat -- there are a variety of practical measures you can take to keep it safe and secure.

  1. Install a burglar alarm or home security system. There are a lot of options for making your home more burglar-proof, such as installing video surveillance cameras, window and door alarms, or a whole-house alarm system that alerts the local police department or alarm monitoring service of a break-in or other security breach. Virtually any security steps you take will help "tip the scales" in your favor, but a professional advisor from a reputable home security company can assist you in identifying potential vulnerabilities and choosing the options best suited for your budget, your degree of risk, and your comfort level.
  2. Plan ahead when going on vacation. Allowing your mail or newspaper deliveries to pile up on your front steps or driveway is like extending an open invitation to burglars who might be scoping out the area. Temporarily suspending your deliveries while you're away is a good starting point for keeping your house looking occupied in your absence, but you might also ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye out for unexpected deliveries. If you really trust them, you could even give them a key to your house, in case they're inclined to water your plants and take care of your pets! (That would eliminate the need and expense of sending your dogs and cats to a pet-boarding facility.) One tactic that a lot of homeowners forget about when they're going away for a few days (or even just overnight) is to hook up an automatic timer to a few of their lights. That simple step will help ensure that their house isn't pitch black at night. There's also the more expensive strategy of having a home security system that can be activated and monitored from your mobile device. Do-it-yourself installation kits are available, but some homeowners prefer the technical support features that come with a professional home security service.
  3. Outside lights can be a deterrent. A few motion-activated outdoor floodlights placed in strategic locations around your home can significantly reduce the risk of night-time prowlers staying on your property for very long. Since one of their primary objectives is to remain undetected and low profile, bright spotlights that turn on when they approach the house will often be enough to send them on their way.
Other home security strategies may include changing all the door locks when you first move into a home, adopting a good watch dog to help scare away potential intruders, and keeping bushes and trees pruned so they don't provide convenient hiding places for would-be burglars.





Posted by Marianne Avila on 1/12/2020

Whether you live in a huge mansion or a modest cottage, your home is your castle, and you're entitled to be safe and secure at all times!

Unfortunately, there is a criminal element in society which can pose a potential threat to homeowners (and renters) who fail to take precautions.

While each individual has to decide for themselves what security measures are necessary for their own safety and that of their family, everyone can benefit from developing a sense of heightened awareness. This is not a difficult thing to do; it simply requires you to focus extra attention on the need to keep your home and family secure. As an old song lyric by Kenny Rogers reminds us, "Trust in God, but lock your door."

By nature, we are all "creatures of habit." It's easy to lose sight of the big picture and allow ourselves to be lulled into a sense of false security. No matter how safe you think your neighborhood is, you're inviting trouble if you habitually leave your doors unlocked. In the same way you may be conscientious about turning off the stove when you're finished using it, getting in the habit of locking your doors (and windows) before you leave the house or go to bed is also a good safety practice. Just that simple thing done on a consistent basis can drastically reduce your chances of becoming a crime statistic.

Shedding light on the subject

Another easy and inexpensive way to fortify home security is with lighting. Your house and property should never be pitch black at night because it makes your home look more vulnerable and unprotected. Creating the impression that someone is home -- whether they are or not -- can be as simple as turning on a couple lights before you leave the house, connecting your lights to a timer that will automatically turn on and off at designated times, or installing a system that enables you to control your home's security remotely. Motion-activated outdoor spotlights can also be an effective deterrent.

One of the many advantages of having a high-tech home control system is that you never have to worry about forgetting to lock your doors, turn on the lights, or adjust your thermostat; you can do it from virtually any location. If you're not technically inclined, you can have a system installed and monitored by a home security company (Make sure to compare prices, services offered, and customer reviews first, though.)

Some homeowners even opt for a video surveillance system, which is one of the most effective ways to keep tabs on your property. Implementing that sort of security system doesn't fit everyone's comfort zone or household budget, but home automation, in general, is an option worth considering and learning more about.

Whether you decide to stick with old-fashioned techniques or try the latest high-tech methods of keeping your home secure, your most important resources are awareness, alertness, and a good set of locks on your doors and windows.





Posted by Marianne Avila on 11/16/2014

The Security of the home is a point of paramount significance to all homeowners.  Burglary is one of the most common crimes committed in the United States. It is estimated that every 15 seconds, someone falls victim to this felony. Knowing that a criminal has violated their personal living space,  homeowners can become fearful and feel insecure in their own homes.  Worrying about whether or not your home is safe can affect the whole family's feeling of security.  Together, the family can make some simple changes that may help deter a felon from entering their home. Helpful hints to secure your home against burglary: Do not leave valuables lying around in plain sight, inside or outside of the house. This could be an open invitation to thieves.  Personal belongings that would be tempting to a burglar should be kept out of sight in a secure location.  There is a wide variety of home safes available today that provide secure storage.  It is also important to protect your belongings outside of the home.  Leaving expensive items such as toys, bicycles, or tools unattended in an easily accessible area of your yard is an unsafe practice.  The criminal mind is always looking for a quick pick ! Be aware of how much personal information your trash can provide. After purchasing a new appliance or electronic device, avoid placing the box in its entirety out with your trash. Cut it up, place it in a large trash bag, or bring it to a recycling center. To a criminal this is great advertisement that there is an brand new plasma TV in your house! Burglars tend to come around when no one is home.  If they get the impression someone is home, it discourages them from entering. Therefore, when leaving the home, it is best to create an illusion that someone is still there. Leave on some music, a lamp by your favorite chair and maybe your coffee cup on the table.  When you need to be away from your home for an extended period, the use of timers on the inside and outside lights will improve the authenticity that someone is actually home.  The minimal amount of electricity that you will be burning to implement these safety measures will be well worth it if you can deter a break in. Securing all possible entry points of your home is also key.  Older sliding doors and windows may need to be secured with an extra measure of protection as some can be easily popped off.  Bulkheads and basement doors need to be locked and secured to avoid easy access.   Window air conditioning units can be easily removed allowing quick access if not installed securely.  An unlocked door on an attached garage can be open invitation to a criminal.  Keeping your doors locked may not deter all break ins, but it is a simple step to take in making your home more secure. Although it may seem like a good idea to leave a spare key under the doormat, this type of behavior should be avoided.  Most burglars are aware of the common hiding places and will quickly locate your "hidden" key.  A safer option is to give a spare key to a trusted neighbor or friend. You can keep a spare key hidden in your vehicle or secured with a combination lock somewhere outside of the home.  Remember, never place any information that identifies your house on the key just in case it ever ends up in the wrong hands. There are many things a homeowner can do to keep their home safe.  Fortunately there is also a wide variety of home security systems available for individuals that desire a higher level of security.  Taking the preventative measures that you can and seeking the guidance of a security system professional is the best way to confirm your home secure.







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