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September 16, 2015

7 Ways To Keep Your Stapleton Home Secure

Security seems to be a hot topic around Stapleton lately.  Whether you are at dinner with friends or out front talking with the neighbors it seems to be the common theme of conversations.  Unfortunately there have been a string of break ins that have gotten the community a bit on edge.

Usually I am of the opinion that things are a little blown out of proportion but a few weeks ago a neighbor just a few doors down had an incident that made me realize I needed to put some more thought into our home’s security.

Our neighbor was burglarized while they were at home sleeping.  They accidentally left a car outside unlocked, which allow the intruders to open their garage using the garage opener in the car.  Once inside, they gained access to the house using the unlocked interior garage door.  They took some ipads, phones etc from the first floor and then stole the wife’s car.  All of this was done in the middle of the night while they whole family slept upstairs, including two young kids.

The thought of multiple people creeping around your house on the main level just a stairway away from your kids is terrifying for any parent.

Yes, they could have taken steps to protect themselves but I know we are all guilty of being a little lax sometimes so this could have happened to anyone.  That said, my wife and I want us as a family to be a little more aware and take a few steps to protect ourselves going forward.

7 Ways To Keep Your Stapleton Home Secure (listed from easiest to most difficult)

1 – Close & Lock your doors, windows and garage.  This may seem very basic but unfortunately there are plenty of examples of people leaving garage doors open allowing someone to easily steal all their bikes, etc.  Yes, you should be able to leave your garage open while you mow the lawn but unfortunately you can’t without running the risk of something getting stolen.  I’ve talked to the police that monitor our area multiple times and by far most crimes in Stapleton are “crimes of opportunity”, meaning the owner made the crime possible by leaving something open or unlocked.  Note that just closing your garage is good but you also most likely have a “lock” button on it, which once activated does not allow anyone to open the garage door from the outside even if they have an opener.  (that would have stopped the crime I described above).

2 –  Put locks on your gates.  I know this one is a bit annoying but if you padlock your gates you may stop potential intruders from gaining access to your backyard.  This alone could encourage them to move on and find an easier target.  My wife and I have been noticing a lot of different types people have been using and some look more convenient than others.

3 – Install window well locks.  One way that burglars can gain access to your home is through your basement windows via your window wells.  One easy and affordable way to stop them is to install window well locks.  These simple and affordable locks allow people in the basement to get out very easily (for safety reasons) but they do not allow the window well grates to be opened from the top.  I’m no handy man but I got these installed very easily so you don’t need to hire anyone.  (The video quality is bad but here’s a post where I show you which locks you can buy and how to install them.)

4 –  Install a “Garage Butler”.  Ever drive off and leave your garage wide open?  Or maybe you saw the door going down as you left but then one of the kid’s bikes got in the way and forced the door to re-open after you left?  It happens all the time and this risk can be mitigated if you buy a “Garage Butler”.  This mechanism costs about $70 – $90 and it will make sure that your garage door is closed every time you leave.  No more getting 5 minutes away from home and then wondering, “did I close the garage?”  Makes sense to me to spend $70 to avoid having all the bikes and more stolen.  (Click here to buy one on Amazon.)

5 –  Add Exterior Lighting.  Are there dark areas of your exterior where someone could linger and try to break in without being noticed?  If so you may want to add motion sensor lighting.  This alone could encourage would-be intruders to seek easier targets.

6 –  Buy a security system.  I have never had a security system but I have to admit after that burglary that happened to our neighbors we caved pretty quick and bought one.  We ended up going with “Vivint” but I know there are a lot of security options out there on the market.  I liked that Vivint seemed fairly affordable at $49 per month (keep in mind it varies by what you choose to sign up for) with motion sensors, window and door sensors, a “glass break” sensor and monitoring service.

I like that if the alarm goes off not only is there a loud sound but an actual person will try to reach us through the two way voice component of the main control panel.  If someone is breaking in an alarm sound will scare them but someone actually saying “Hello this is Vivint, we noticed your your alarm went off, is everything ok?  If so please enter your secure password” is likely much more alarming for an intruder.

I also like that Vivint’s system works off a wireless phone connection rather than a landline that can easily be cut which disarms the system.

Vivaint had video monitoring options & other gadgets available for those who want to go all out.

I’m not saying Vivint is better than anyone else, I’m sure there are a lot of options and I think the most important piece of any system is the sign in front and back of your home that shows you have a security system & hopefully deters intruders from even trying.

I’m sure you could call Vivint’s main # if you want service but for a quicker in home consultation you can call the rep who came to our Stapleton house, Dylan Krahn at (620) 474-3840.  He knows his stuff and is not pushy at all which I appreciated.

7 –  Create a Neighborhood Watch Group.  I put this as the last option because it is the most involved option in terms of your time investment.  I have not been a part of one of these before but someone on our block is starting one so I’ll keep you posted.  Why not all keep an eye out for each other?  If you want details about the program check out this page on the Denver Police Department website.

If you do all or most of the 7 items above I think you’ve done what you can to minimize the odds of having your home burglarized.

If you have ideas, experiences with security companies or other security products you could suggest please share them here via a comment or leave a comment on this post on our Facebook page.

Please share this with others who are concerned about the recent increase in crime. We need to do as much as we can to change the reputation of being an easily targeted neighborhood.

(PS…if you haven’t been hearing much about the increased crime here are a few recent articles about it in the news:  Channel 9 Story, Fox31 Story)

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