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A burglary occurs an average of every 12 seconds in the United States. If your home doesn't have the simplest defenses against burglary, it will make an easy target -- even for the amateur burglar.

Adding some security devices can help combat potential burglaries. But if you can't afford security devices, there are things you can do to lessen the chance your home will be a target.

The Burglary Prevention Council -- a trade group -- recommends the following measures:

* Doors should have deadbolt locks with a 1-inch throw and reinforced strike plate with 3-inch screws.

* Always lock the doors to an attached garage. Don't rely on your automatic garage door opener for security.

* Create the illusion that you are home by using timers on lights, radios and televisions.

* Install a low-voltage outdoor lighting system and floodlights around your porch, garage and other areas.

* Never leave a message on your telephone answering machine informing callers that you are away from home.

* Perform a security check on your home regularly. Identify vulnerable areas, and take steps to eliminate opportunities for the burglar.

Pub Date: 2/02/97

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