Home security starts outside of your home

Home security starts outside of your home

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ATLANTA -

At one point, one Atlanta neighborhood in particular was having quite a few break-ins.

That was until Gladys Mayes, a senior crime prevention inspector with the Atlanta Police Department, stepped in. She advises communities on home safety and says it starts with taking a few precautions on the outside.

Trim your hedges. Gladys says burglars are looking for easy targets, so make it difficult for them. That includes getting some good hardware for your doors.

She says we should always remain aware of our surroundings, even when it's doing something as routine as getting the mail.

"The criminal is watching you, but you're focused on your mail," Gladys said. "You're not looking around. That's when people are taken advantage of. So, always pay attention to your surroundings."

And, while having a home alarm is great, don't let it give you a false sense of security. Try to get a different type of alarm than what your neighbors are using. For example, use a different sound for the alarm.

But, Gladys says no mechanism can take the place of a good neighbor.

"It doesn't matter how many devices you use," she said, "The greatest deterrent to crime is people. That's people banding together and watching out for each other."

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