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Protecting your home from a break-in
Homeowner Nate Farrimond talks about his home security while his son looks on. - photo by Andrew Adams
Family members in Salt Lake City say a woman who was stabbed, allegedly by a home intruder, will recover and should be released from the hospital soon.

The incident raises the question of home security, which an expert says often boils down to a few simple steps to minimize the risk of a break-in.

Nate Farrimond owns a house in the suburbs. He thinks he's doing home security correctly, but he doesn't know for sure.

"We just make sure when we leave the doors are locked, make sure windows are shut," he explained. "We don't discuss it often, saying, 'Well what if this happens?' or 'What if somebody breaks in?'"

Chris Bertram is a retired police officer, a former deputy chief with the Unified Police Department. We asked him to inspect the house.

A sliding glass door quickly caught his eye. Even though it was locked, he said security could be improved.

"By adding just one element, like a stick or a folding bar that comes down and secures this middle section, we add another layer (of security)," he said.

He also took note of window coverings.

"In talking to criminals over the years, window coverings surprisingly are very important," he said.

He suggests keeping them closed at night and perhaps during the day as well.

"Occasionally it may be a good idea to leave them maybe a little closed and give that presence that maybe somebody hasn't gotten up," he said.

In the basement, he pointed to ground-level windows shielded by a fence.

"It's a place that there is privacy, but there's also privacy for a criminal," Bertram said.

He said keep rocks away from the windows since they can be used to break inside.

"We don't want to give the thief the opportunity that if they break the window, we give them the tool to do it," he said.

Bertram found that overall this house scored well, which was great news for the Farrimond family.

"I knew there would probably be a few things that we could improve," Farrimond said. "I'm glad to know it was cheap things instead of putting in a whole security system."

Other suggestions include adding two dusk-to-dawn lights in the front of your home. Bertram suggested a motion sensor light on each side of the house.
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