Evelyn Doane - William Raveis Real Estate - Cape Cod



Posted by Evelyn Doane on 3/25/2018

Keeping your home secure is a lot like maintaining a healthy lifestyle: If you prioritize it and develop good daily habits, then your chances of staying safe and healthy are vastly improved.

While there's no ironclad security strategy that's absolutely fail-proof -- especially when you factor in the element of human error -- the following security tips will help make your home a safer and more secure place for you and your family.

  1. Awareness is the key. Don't be lulled into a false sense of complacency. Although your sense of well-being depends, in part, on having an inner feeling of safety and security, it's still necessary to lock your doors, be aware of your surroundings, exercise a moderate amount of caution, and follow a few commonsense guidelines. Even if you're fortunate enough to live in a "safe neighborhood", there's still an element of unpredictability that should always be kept in mind. In reality, it's not that unusual for a nice neighborhood to be targeted by burglars. Granted, it doesn't happen very often, but it only takes one incident for your belongings (and peace of mind) to be stolen by intruders. As the old expression goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
  2. A barking dog can often be an effective burglar deterrent. Since most dogs have a natural inclination to bark at strangers and intrusive noises, having a dog in the family can be a valuable part of your overall home security program. Any kind of effective alarm system, which can include a barking dog, will instantly make your home a less desirable target for burglars, con artists, and other miscreants.
  3. Flood lights also help deter residential crime. While burglars may not necessarily have a clear-cut plan for breaking into your house, garage, or storage shed, you can be sure they do not want to be noticed, observed, or paid attention to in any way. Motion-activated flood lights or other types of alarms can be especially effective, since these devices trigger an immediate response to an intruder's presence.
  4. Home security systems are worth researching. People come up with a lot of excuses for dismissing the idea of installing a home security system. Some say they can't afford it, while others claim they're hopeless technophobes, and couldn't possibly figure out how to program or operate a security system. At the very least, it's a good idea to educate yourself about the available options, prices, and technical support. Once you've taken the first step, proceeding forward will feel a lot easier and less intimidating.
One thing you don't want to be in the position of doing is "closing the stable door after the horse has bolted." While it would be a step in the wrong direction to put yourself and your family in a constant state of high alert, if you put a few basic safeguards into place, you'll be paving the way for a safer home and a more secure environment.





Posted by Evelyn Doane on 7/30/2017

We all want our homes to be secure, but do we really take the steps that are necessary to make security a priority in our homes? Between home security and neighborhood security, you’ll want to do whatever you can to keep both your home and your neighborhood safe. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you select and maintain a safe home an neighborhood. From the moment you move into a new home, you should have your eyes peeled for ways to make your home and neighborhood a safer place to live. Some often overlooked parts of home security are:


  • Door locks
  • alarm systems
  • Smoke detectors
  • Neighborhood visibility
  • Window locks
  • Home entrances and exits


Make Safety A Part Of Your Search Criteria


If you do research before you even buy a home, you can avoid living in an area where you will regret moving to. There are plenty of online resources to help you see where crime is prevalent as opposed to where safer neighborhoods are. Doing this research can be extremely valuable to your home search. Some search engines even provide a certain amount of data that’s available by street as to when and where incidents have happened. Although you may not want to get that detailed, you can use the data you find to help you in your home search. A neighborhood with a large number of incidents may not be where you want to start your home search.   


Find The Holes In Your Home’s Security


Once you close on a home, one of the first things that you should do is asses the security inside the home. This means changing the locks, checking the windows, looking for entrances such as a basement door, and more. Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well. This can really help to ensure that your new space is safe in a few simple steps. To get more heavily into security, install a security system. You can get a system that’s professionally monitored or a simple home alarm to ward off thieves. 


Get To Know The Neighbors


If you take the time to get to know your neighbors, your neighborhood is more likely to be secure. If you are acquainted with the people next door, they’re apt to keep an eye out on your property and vice versa. You may even want to get involved or begin a neighborhood watch program to help keep the neighborhood safe.


The key to home and neighborhood security is vigilance. The more observant you are, the better chances you have of preventing crime from striking your area.   






Posted by Evelyn Doane on 1/29/2017

There are certain home disasters most of us would prefer not to think about. A house fire, a flood, or even a break-in are all some of a homeowner's worst fears. But being prepared for the worst is always the best choice in the long run. One of the most important things people lose in home disasters are their vital documents. If your documents are lost in a fire it will take a lot of time and money to replace them all. There are two main ways to insure the security of your documents: physically and electronically. However, neither method is 100% secured. Just as some safes can be broken, so can some electronic storage systems. In this article, we'll cover the documents you should secure and the latest and best ways to secure them.

What to secure

There are few things that are irreplaceable. Since most agencies you'll deal with in your life have your information backed up on their computer systems you probably can rest assured that your information is safe there. But for your own convenience and wallet, it's a good idea to secure the following documents and files:
  • Social security cards
  • Passports
  • Birth certificates
  • Insurance papers
  • Copies of wills
  • Legal papers
  • Vehicle titles
  • Hard drive with family photos, home movies
  • Medical information (doctors, prescriptions, etc.)

Buying a safe

Even if you tend to back up all of your documents in a secure place online, it's still a good idea to own a safe. Servers can crash and files can be hacked. Plus there are certain items that you can't back up online. Spare keys to your home, vehicles, and safety deposit boxes are all important items for your safe that won't take up much room. Similarly, family jewelry or heirlooms are also priceless additions that should fit nicely. When buying a home safe there are a few things to consider. Safes can range from under a hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars depending on factors like their size and security capabilities. You should look for a safe within your budget that is both fire and water resistant, but is also a practical size. If you're only protecting some documents and keys, you won't need a huge safe that will be difficult to move if need be. A benefit of a large, heavy safe is that it becomes difficult to steal from your home to break open elsewhere.

Protecting your data digitally

There are two ways of digitally security your items. One option is to use a flash drive and then keep that flash drive in a safe place (why not in the new safe you just purchased?). The benefit of a flash drive is that they are small and can hold huge amounts of data--multiple years of tax papers, for example. For an added layer of security on your flash drive, buy one with encryption capability. What's encryption?  Encryption is a method of securing data by making the information unreadable to those without the key. There are several types of encryption and many ways of encrypting your data online. Another, simpler option for securing your data online is to use cloud storage. Google Drive, iCloud, and Dropbox are all common cloud storage systems that incorporate encryption. However, not all cloud storage systems are created equally. Some are better for security, others are designed to be convenient and user-friendly. Whichever storage service you decide to use, it's important to be smart with your passwords. Make them complex, unique, and change them frequently to ensure the safety of your data.  





Posted by Evelyn Doane on 9/11/2016

Once you've lived in your home for a while it's easy to become relaxed on security. Maybe it's because you live in a safe neighborhood, or maybe you just have a habit of not locking doors. Regardless of the reason, practicing good security can pay off in a huge way protecting yourself, your family, and your belongings from harm. In this article, we're going to cover some home security basics that you might be forgetting and help you build a habit of taking care of them. Read on to learn some tips for security at home.

Safety hazards

Some of the most common safety hazards to your home are completely preventable. Hazards like fire and carbon monoxide are both easily averted by safe practices when it comes to cooking, electronics, and using open flames of any kind. Follow these tips to protect yourself from fire:
  • Install fire and CO detectors throughout your home. Set a reminder in your calendar to check the batteries yearly or however long is recommended on the detector.
  • Make sure your family knows basic cooking an electronics safety such as how to properly use ovens, microwaves, and power outlets.
  • Teach your family the proper use of fire extinguishers and have a fire safety week at your home where you cover the aforementioned topics, as well as how to evacuate the house in case of a fire.

Burglary

According to the FBI, break-ins are the number one most common threat to a home. There is a break-in every 15 seconds in America. Follow these tips to prevent break-ins at your home:
  • Don't leave spare keys outside your home or on your porch. Similarly, don't leave spare keys on or in your vehicle.
  • Make sure your doors and windows lock properly. Burglars will often move past a home if they cannot easily enter through the front or back doors. Installing a deadbolt will add to the integrity of your doors.
  • Don't keep valuable items like laptops, televisions, or expensive sound systems in plain sight from the road.
  • Change the locks when you move into a new home and keep track of the number of key copies that are made.
  • Keep a fireproof, waterproof, heavy safe in your home with important or dangerous items stored inside. This includes jewelry, important documents, and firearms & ammunition.
  • Get to know your neighbors and agree to keep an eye on one another's homes, especially when one of you is away. Install motion sensor lights and find out if your neighbor uses them. Similarly, have them pick up your mail when you're away so it doesn't seem obvious that your house is empty.

The Role of the internet and technology

Technology can be a useful tool in making your home safer or it can be an easy way to advertise that you are vulnerable to a break-in. Follow these tips when it comes to technology-related security:
  • Don't post pictures of valuable items on social media
  • Don't advertise to your social media "friends" when you are going away. This could be an invitation to break in.
  • Installing a security system or even some dummy cameras and alarms can be a great deterrent.
  • Use encrypted cloud storage to keep your data safe. That includes copies of birth certificates, social security cards, family photos, wills, and more.
 





Posted by Evelyn Doane on 11/22/2015

The Security of the home is a point of paramount significance to all homeowners.  Burglary is one of the most common crimes committed in the United States. It is estimated that every 15 seconds, someone falls victim to this felony. Knowing that a criminal has violated their personal living space,  homeowners can become fearful and feel insecure in their own homes.  Worrying about whether or not your home is safe can affect the whole family's feeling of security.  Together, the family can make some simple changes that may help deter a felon from entering their home. Helpful hints to secure your home against burglary: Do not leave valuables lying around in plain sight, inside or outside of the house. This could be an open invitation to thieves.  Personal belongings that would be tempting to a burglar should be kept out of sight in a secure location.  There is a wide variety of home safes available today that provide secure storage.  It is also important to protect your belongings outside of the home.  Leaving expensive items such as toys, bicycles, or tools unattended in an easily accessible area of your yard is an unsafe practice.  The criminal mind is always looking for a quick pick ! Be aware of how much personal information your trash can provide. After purchasing a new appliance or electronic device, avoid placing the box in its entirety out with your trash. Cut it up, place it in a large trash bag, or bring it to a recycling center. To a criminal this is great advertisement that there is an brand new plasma TV in your house! Burglars tend to come around when no one is home.  If they get the impression someone is home, it discourages them from entering. Therefore, when leaving the home, it is best to create an illusion that someone is still there. Leave on some music, a lamp by your favorite chair and maybe your coffee cup on the table.  When you need to be away from your home for an extended period, the use of timers on the inside and outside lights will improve the authenticity that someone is actually home.  The minimal amount of electricity that you will be burning to implement these safety measures will be well worth it if you can deter a break in. Securing all possible entry points of your home is also key.  Older sliding doors and windows may need to be secured with an extra measure of protection as some can be easily popped off.  Bulkheads and basement doors need to be locked and secured to avoid easy access.   Window air conditioning units can be easily removed allowing quick access if not installed securely.  An unlocked door on an attached garage can be open invitation to a criminal.  Keeping your doors locked may not deter all break ins, but it is a simple step to take in making your home more secure. Although it may seem like a good idea to leave a spare key under the doormat, this type of behavior should be avoided.  Most burglars are aware of the common hiding places and will quickly locate your "hidden" key.  A safer option is to give a spare key to a trusted neighbor or friend. You can keep a spare key hidden in your vehicle or secured with a combination lock somewhere outside of the home.  Remember, never place any information that identifies your house on the key just in case it ever ends up in the wrong hands. There are many things a homeowner can do to keep their home safe.  Fortunately there is also a wide variety of home security systems available for individuals that desire a higher level of security.  Taking the preventative measures that you can and seeking the guidance of a security system professional is the best way to confirm your home secure.