By Frank Fourchalk
It's that time of year when New Year's resolutions almost always work their way into conversation. And in most cases, that's all it truly is, "conversation". New Year's resolution makers start off with good intentions but quite often lack the art of perseverance.
We've heard it all before, "I'm going to lose weight this year", "I'm going to create more free time," or the famous, " I'm going to quit smoking." These are all great resolutions, but they require strong commitment over a period of time before they show positive results.
If you're the type of person who won't commit to a New Year's resolution because you need instant results, why not make a resolution that will benefit you and your family immediately - a resolution that simply is, "Awareness of Home Security".
This doesn't mean you have to purchase hundreds of dollars in home security devices to make your home more secure. I have created a no cost security list that will enhance your existing home security.
Make 2005 a safe and secure year for you and your loved ones by following my simple New Year's resolution list.
Make sure that all door and window locks are secured at all times. If you must have a window open slightly for fresh air, make sure that it is not left unattended. Sixty percent of all residential burglaries happen because doors and windows are left open or unlocked.
If you have a home alarm system, use it. An alarm system not only protects your home when you are away, it also protects you and your family when at home.
Turn all outside lights on at dusk and pull window coverings shut.
Do not let old newspapers and flyers accumulate on your front porch.
Trim back all overgrown shrubs that may obstruct a positive view of your windows and doors.
Don't hide house keys outside.
If you have a garage, use it. A vehicle parked out of sight is less likely to be broken into or stolen.
Do not open doors to strangers. If you cannot see who's at the door, tell them to stand in front of a window, so you can identify them.
Make an emergency-number list of police, ambulance and fire numbers. Also add neighbors' numbers to this list that you may want to contact quickly. It's always a good idea to have a copy of this list near every phone in the house for easy access.
Do not leave notes for people on your front door. Notes will grab a burglar's attention quicker than you think.
Do not leave ladders or garden tools outside of your home. They might just happen to be the break-in tools a burglar is looking for.
Keep an eye on your neighbors' homes, checking for abnormal signs of activity.
Take advantage of free home-security evaluations through your local police department.