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Winter is coming; batten down the hatches

Before his head was severed from his body, Ned Stark continually said winter is coming. This is true and as the cold weather approaches, the days get shorter and homeowners are forced to come to peace with the fact that criminals could very well be lurking in the dark, waiting to strike until all the lights are off.

Burglars are instinctively drawn to the darkness, as most surveillance cameras are not able to see well in the absence of light – unless they have night-vision capabilities. But let's be honest, most homeowners don't have high-tech video surveillance systems that can tell the difference between a hungry raccoon scouring the trash and a malicious criminal intent on stealing every valuable possession in sight.

By implementing more advanced physical security systems, homeowners may be able to deter criminals permanently.

Tips for doors, windows and other entrances
In many old homes, the locking mechanisms on doors and windows are old fashioned and easily bypassed by a skilled burglar. For this reason, homeowners should consider hiring a professional locksmith to assess the integrity of existing locks and determine if any entrances need improvements.

While some outdoor garages and other rooms can be protected with a padlock, other areas may benefit from having a burglar alarm that is supported with 24-hour monitoring services. By deploying these tools, homeowners can be sure their valuable assets are protected at all times, whether they are in bed sleeping or away visiting the grandparents for the holidays.

Techniques to keep criminals at bay
While surveillance cameras can help local law enforcement agencies apprehend thieves after a crime is committed, the tools may not necessarily deter criminals from entering private property. As a result, homeowners should complement their video surveillance system with signs informing intruders they are being monitored and recorded. This may convince some burglars that they picked the wrong house to steal from.

Another way homeowners can potentially deter criminals is to leave lights, radios and televisions on when they are not home. While this may be one of the oldest tricks in the book, it still has the tendency to deter some criminals gullible enough to consider other targets with no lights on.

As the days get shorter and crime rates around the country continue to remain steady, homeowners need to be proactive to prevent burglars from stealing their valuable possessions.

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