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Securing our homes from uninvited intruders, is one of the most important things that need to be done. Slipping into a burglars mind long enough to figure out the security loop holes of your home, is the first step in making your home more burglar resistant. This is individual as every home is set up differently, and there are little things that can really make big differences.

There are several basic things that can be done to improve security, and there are also advance things; a combination of these will no doubt give the ultimate security. Some basic things are installing dead bolt, pick resistant locks on all entry doors, installing key locks for all windows, installing peepholes on doors (instead of door chain), installing strong metal or solid hardwood entry doors, installing exterior lights and motion detectors, and trimming trees and shrubs near doors and windows, to name a few. Some advance things are installing burglar bars on windows, and investing in an effective burglar alarm system, which rings to an outside service.

Installing safety locks and not keeping them locked, especially before going to bed at nights, would defeat the purpose of having them installed in the first place. Likewise, installing an alarm system and not keeping them on, and opening your entry door at the ring of your doorbell, without first using your peephole. If you are going to install them, use them.

In improving the security of your home, be sure to do it sensibly. You do not want to jeopardize your personal safety by securing your home so much that you cannot quickly escape, should there be a fire. Creating and designating an escape route or routes before a disaster arise - should there be one, is of utmost importance.

Also, if everyone is leaving the home for a long period of time, try to make the home appear to be the same as when you all are there. You can do this by using automatic timers to turn lights on and off in various parts of the house, at their usual times; programming a radio or television to turn on and off each day you are away; arranging to have your lawn mowed or your driveway shoveled; forwarding all your mail or have them picked up by someone trustworthy or held by the post office; leaving window blinds in their usual positions; designating a trusted neighbor or a good friend to check in occasionally; and lowering the sound of your telephone ringer and answering machine. These are just a few things that can be done to keep up the usual appearance, but these are by no means exhaustive.

Keeping all valuables stashed away in a fire proof safe or vault, will not only protect them should there be a break in, but will also protect them from being burnt or destroyed, should there be a fire.

Insuring our homes, is another very important thing that we need to get done. Unforeseen events such as fire, flood, etc., can and does occur from time to time. Having homeowners insurance provides financial protection against disasters.

Standard homeowners insurance policy covers the structure of your home, your personal belongings, damage done to others by you or your family members, and living expenses in the event you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of a fire or other insured disaster. The policy on the structure of your home, pays to repair or rebuild your home should it be damaged or destroyed by fire, natural disasters, or any other disaster listed in your policy. It is important however, when buying coverage, to buy enough to rebuild your home should the need arise.

Your personal belongings such as your furniture, clothes, sports equipment, and other personal items are covered ( usually for a percentage of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home), and so, if they are stolen or destroyed by fire or other natural disasters, the policy pays that percentage. Taking home inventory of all your belongings, will not only give you a more precise idea as to the amount of coverage you need, but will also be your evidence should the need arise to make a claim. Whether you videotape, take pictures, or computerize your list of inventory, be sure to store a copy or copies in a safe place or places, outside your home, such as in a safety deposit box, or at a trusted friend or relative's home. It is also important to keep all receipt safe.

Liability protection policy covers you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that you or your family members cause to other people. This usually start at about $100, 000, but most insurance companies allow you to purchase excess liability coverage to suit your individual need.

The cost of living away from your home, should there be damage from a fire, or from any other disasters stated in your policy, is paid for with the additional living expenses policy. It covers hotel bills, restaurant meals, and other living expenses incurred while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. Homeowners insurance varies from company to company, but most policies are customizable, and coverage for additional premiums can be increased should there be a need.

Whatever the security measures you take or the insurance policies you purchase, be sure to use them to your full advantage. Protect yourself, your family and your assets. Be safe. Be ready to replace, repair or rebuild.

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