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7 Smart and Simple Ways to Improve Your Home Security

7 Smart and Simple Ways to Improve Your Home Security

Home security is one of those things that many of us don’t think about until we need to. (Believe me: After somebody breaks into your home, ignoring the issue of home security no longer feels like a possibility.) But as with eating right and exercising, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to home security.

Many people avoid burglar-proofing their home because it feels like a daunting task. People might feel like they don’t know where to start, or they’ll worry about the cost of securing their home. That’s where these tips come in. Not only do they give you a great foundation for home security, but they’re also simple and (for the most part) inexpensive. Dedicate one Saturday to implementing these strategies, and you’ll benefit from improved peace of mind for years to come.

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1. Beef up your locks

Door locks won’t do you much good if you have a weak door jamb. Reinforce your door jamb with a heavy steel strike plate and long screws, both of which will help strengthen your door against potential break-ins. You can purchase strike-plate reinforcing hardware at virtually any hardware store, or enlist a handyman to help out if you’re not competent with a drill. While you’re at it, replace weak locks with stronger grade deadbolts, make sure all of your exterior doors use interior door hinges, and change all locks if you ever lose your house key.

2. Reinforce your windows

Nobody needs to nail their windows shut—all of our homes can benefit from regular doses of fresh air. Get the best of ventilation and home security by installing window stops, which allow windows to be opened a few inches but not wide enough for a person to fit through.

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3. Install motion sensor lighting outside your home

Leaving the porch light on while you’re away seems like a good idea because it can help convey that somebody’s home. But when the light stays on 24/7, it has the exact opposite effect: It becomes obvious that nobody is home to turn off the light. The solution? Install motion sensor lighting that turns on whenever somebody comes within range of the sensor. This will help deter potential intruders and save you money on your electricity bill.

4. Hide valuables in unexpected places

No, I’m not talking about the sock drawer—that’s been done to death, to the point that thieves know to check there. Instead, try hiding your valuables in more unusual places, such as a tennis ball, a box of tampons or menstrual pads, or inside other random household goods.

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5. Consider mail and newspaper delivery when you go away

Nothing says “nobody’s home!” more clearly than stacks of mail piling up in the mailbox and a mountain of newspapers on the front porch. Whenever you go away, make sure to ask the post office and newspaper to hold your deliveries. Or enlist a friend or neighbor to collect newspapers, mail, and fliers from your property every day while you’re gone.

6. Reinforce air conditioning units

Unsecured window air conditioning units can easily be pushed inside the house, leaving a wide-open window for burglars to crawl through. Eliminate this risk by using a bracket, sliding window lock, and/or corner braces to secure the air conditioner in place.

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7. Store ladders inside (not on the lawn)

Leaving a ladder in the yard is like extending an invitation to thieves to enter via the second floor. The easy solution? Store ladders in a locked garage or garden shed to limit easy access to your home.

These strategies work best when they’re consistently enforced, so make sure everyone living in your home knows the drill and is committed to implementing these practices. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to purchase renter’s or home owner’s insurance—that way you’re still protected financially in the (now unlikely!) event that a burglar finds their way inside.

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Kenny Kline

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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