Summary: Learn how to prevent burglary and theft with Tom Kraeutler of The Money Pit. Find out how installing lighting timers, a motion-detection spotlight, and wireless window alarms can keep your home safe.
TOM: Each year in this country, over 2 million homes are broken into. If you want to keep your house from becoming a statistic, there are a few simple improvements you should make.
Let's start with lighting timers. These work inside your house to create the illusion of activity. They're very inexpensive, going from just a few dollars up to maybe $25 and can turn lights and appliances on and off inside your house a number of times during the day.
Another kind of light to have is a motion-detection spotlight. If the beam is broken, the light comes on and can scare a potential burglar away from your house.
Another thing that keeps burglars out is a good quality lock. Now, most homes have a handset lock like this, but it will only go into the door jamb by about a half inch. It won't do a very good job. You really want to have a deadbolt that goes in a full inch. This does a good job of keeping the door secured, preventing someone from breaking into it. You can also get them with the same keys so it's convenient.
Now, there are about 70% of homes in this country that have an alarm system, but those can be expensive. Did you know that you can buy a wireless alarm for as little as about $5 a window? It will come on if someone tries to break in just like this: [alarm sound].
Couple other things to remember is this: If you go away, turn your main water valve off so no plumbing pipes will break and flood your house when you're away. You also want to stop the newspaper and the mail and also notify police. Some communities have a vacant house watch list, who'll keep an eye on your place while you're away. If worse comes to worst, you don't want to do anything else, hey, spend 50 cents on a warning sticker. I'm Tom Kraeutler.