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'Tis The Season To Stay Safe
By Frank Fourchalk

It's a time when we forget about the violence and corruption in the world and concentrate on family and friends, a time when we realize that spending time with our loved ones is more important than charging off in a 9-to-5 world.

During the holidays, we get excited at the sound of the doorbell ringing. After all, there's probably a seldom-seen loved one waiting outside for a warm embrace.

But what if a bad guy is waiting on your doorstep? What if he intends to harm you or rob your home?

I can't stress enough that staying safe at home involves a group effort by all family members. It starts with making sure doors are locked at all times. With friends and neighbors coming and going, make sure you always accompany them to the door and lock it right away.

Homes are usually stocked with gifts this time of year, and burglars are always looking to cash in on somebody else's Christmas. Don't make it easy for them by leaving doors and windows open.

Never open the door without knowing who's on the other side. Installing a 180-degree door viewer will give you maximum viewing optics and will remedy the situation. If you are home alone, keep the lights on in several rooms, giving the impression that there is more than one person at home.

If a solicitor comes calling, make him or her aware that you have somebody else in your home by yelling, "I'll get it." It goes without saying if somebody comes calling at night and claims to be in trouble, don't open the door. Call the police.

It's hard to refrain from the excitement of telling everybody your plans during the holidays; however, you should be careful who you're talking to. Whether it be a store clerk or a neighbor, remember that the wrong person might be listening to your conversation, finding out private information about your holiday plans.

For the most part, we think of our homes as a secure refuge from the outside world, where we are safe and secure. Don't give a burglar the opportunity to destroy your sense of security because you got caught up in the season and neglected your home's security.

Unfortunately, in today's world, it takes only one slip-up to become a victim, so lock up and enjoy the holidays.

Frank Fourchalk is widely recognized for his sustained commitment to education in Home and Business security throughout North America as a result of his syndicated newspaper columns. Mr. Fourchalk has written for The Toronto Star, The Vancouver Province, and several other daily newspapsers including the New York Post. For more information on your home security check out

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