Make it hard for burglars /Local/EE/Images/Kasutus_524x224.jpg Everyone who has had a break-in at one time or another knows how upsetting it can be. We would like to give you some advice on how to prevent unwanted visitors. Most of them are very small sacrifices, and they will increase your sense of security greatly. Naturally, losing belongings or having parts of your home destroyed is terrible, not to mention a hassle, but for many the worst part is the knowledge that someone has forced their way in. A break-in is often followed by a deep-rooted worry and unease, which can be long lasting. We have put together a checklist of tips to scare off would-be burglars. Examine your locks and read our list to see what more you can do to protect your home. Ask the neighbors for help. Tell your closest neighbors when you’re going away so they can keep an extra eye out. Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail, and do the same for them when they’re out of town. Perhaps the neighbor can also use your trash can so that it doesn’t stand empty and unused. Having a neighbor park in your space is another good tip, as is hanging laundry on your clothesline. It’s a sure sign that you’re out of town if your lawn looks like a tropical forest or is covered with pure, untouched snow. Help your neighbor with mowing and shoveling (or making footprints in their snow) and they’ll help you. Perhaps you can start a neighborhood watch. That’s an easy way to make an area more secure, and as an added bonus you get to know your neighbors better. Don’t leave a message on your answering machine that you’re out of town. Put timers on some of your lamps so they go on and off at various times. Lamps that are on in the middle of the day are a signal to burglars. Connecting your outdoor lights to a light sensor is a cheap investment. Put a radio on a timer so that it plays at various times of the day. If you live in a house or townhouse, don’t have large plants in places where they can conceal patio doors and windows. An axe left lying outside the house is an excellent tool for breaking in. Make sure you store your gardening tools indoors. Lock your ladders in place or keep them indoors, otherwise they can be used to reach unlocked or open windows in your house or your neighbor’s. Lock the doors even when you are at home. Many break-ins occur quickly and silently while the owner is home. Don’t leave keys in a visible place in a hallway or key cabinet. That makes it easy for a burglar to steal a spare key and come back to work undisturbed later. It also makes it easier for a burglar to get out of your house with his loot.