Living in Alaska’s city of commerce has many rewards but does come with some risks particularly when it comes to security. A common strategy for thieves is to watch for people moving into homes and striking during the first week when they are the most unlikely to have any security set up. Home security technology is changing rapidly and becoming increasingly affordable. Do your research ahead of time to find the right mix of systems for you, your family, and your new home and don’t forget to include easy, low-cost solutions such as peep holes and dowel jambs. Asking your future neighbors what the threats are and what they use may be helpful.
To minimize the security risk to your new home and belongings as well as increase the safety and security of your family, we recommend that consider you the following:
Re-key all of your door locks immediately upon receiving the keys to your new home, we recommend having all the exterior locks rekeyed and ensure that they each have a deadbolt. You just never know who still has a key to your new home.
Install an alarm system. Alarm systems vary in sophistication and can include motion detectors, hidden cameras, and 24/7 customer service. Call early to set up an appointment for the day of or the day after closing.
Install a peep hole in your front door or have a handyman do it for you.
Install shatter-proofing for glass in your front door or windows at ground-level such as egress windows.
Install curtains and/or shatter-proofing over any garage windows.
Install a thick wooden dowel in any glass sliding doors or glass sliding egress windows to prevent breaking in.
Install a jimmy plate and an auxillary lock to any patio doors.
Install dawn to dusk lights that detect motion around the exterior doors, garage, deck, mailbox, and driveway.
On exterior doors consider installing strike plates (i.e. Door Devil), attaching door braces (i.e. Night Lock), or reinforcing the doorknobs.
To prevent mail-theft, install a locking mailbox.
Keep all of your most important financial documents (your new mortgage documents, deed, will, account numbers, etc.) as well as identifications (passports, etc.) hidden in a locked, fireproof security box.
When traveling, especially if you are traveling right after you have moved in or for more than a long weekend we highly recommend that you consider a house sitter so that the home does not appear empty.
Of course, a loud, barking dog is also a great investment.
If you park any of your cars outside, please beware of a high incidence of thieves stealing items from cars as well as actually stealing cars in Anchorage. To combat this, remove anything of value from the car every time you park, be sure to roll up the windows and lock the doors, and be weary of using remote starts. In addition, be sure not to leave any documents in your car that could lead to identity theft, garage door openers, or any mail with your address on it. If your car is stolen while you were out driving around and it has a garage door opener and documentation with your address, now you’ll be fearful that your home is next.
Getting to know your neighbors can be really helpful in improving your home’s security. Make a concerted effort, especially in the beginning, to learn the names of your immediate neighbors (2-3 is ideal) and exchange contact information with them. If anyone sees that you left your windows down or your garage door open, they can text you. Or, if you see someone suspicious at their door, you can give them a call. Creating your own mini neighborhood watch can go a long way.
While we’d love to say that Anchorage is one of those communities that you don’t have to lock your doors at night, we really can’t. Please be mindful of your surroundings and make every effort to zip things up before you turn in every night. Don’t forget to lock all of your doors!