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 B. Franklin,

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Gems of Consumer Wisdom
Health • Safety • Financial Freedom









  ...And Fool 'Em Too  

If you can't afford an alarm or a dog, at least try to bluff away burglars by posting warning signs that you have a security system. For extra security, post a "beware of dog" sign and toss some large dog toys into your backyard. You can buy these signs at most hardware stores.

Keep your curtains closed so burglars can't see when nobody's home. Keep lights on during the daytime, even when you're not home. Turn on the same lights you normally turn on when you're at home. When the windows are open, keep displays of valuable items away from windows.

When your security is at stake, be secretive. Everyone in your household should be instructed to never tell strangers when you'll be gone because word might get around to burglars. Any stranger you invite into your home might also be a criminal. It's not unheard of for workmen to be in cahoots with burglars in exchange for a split of the stolen booty. When you buy something expensive, don't put the box out with the garbage in plain view. To burglars, that's an inviting advertisement.

When you're on vacation or gone for a long time for some other reason, ask neighbors to spend some time in your home to make it look "lived in" (e.g. opening and closing drapes and putting out a garbage can at the normal time). Stop your mail and newspaper, or ask a neighbor to pick it up every evening. When you leave home, use two or three timers to automatically switch lights and even stereos on and off.

Some commercial products are ineffective, such as barking-dog alarms or the little safes that look just like a book.  Most burglars have caught on to them by now.

(Next Gem: How To Lock Out Burglars)

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