Protecting Your Home

Having recently moved into a new home in Mar Vista, one thing at the top of my mind is security. What is the optimal home security setup? How can I attain peace of mind without the inconvenience of having too much to fiddle with? To find out, I did some research. My findings are summarized in order from most important to least. (In my opinion, of course):

1) Always "lock up." This is an obvious one, but at least for me perhaps the most difficult. Lock your doors and windows. Make things difficult for an uninvited visitor!

2) Don't leave valuables in plain sight. Essentially, hide potential incentives for any intruder, the same as you would in your car.

3) Audit the surroundings of your house. Remove any accessible items (e.g., ladders, trash cans) that might help someone gain access. Keep bushes and trees trimmed to not leave any good hiding places.

4) Exterior Lighting. This one can also be a "quality of life" improvement. Light potential entrance points. Use motion-activated lights for those areas that don't always need light.

5) Visible Security Cameras. Once an expensive luxury, modern technology has reduced the price and overhead of security cameras to a relatively accessible level. Keep your camera visible! A hidden camera may catch someone, but will not serve as a deterrent.

6) Community. This one also has benefits that stretch far beyond home security. Foster strong relationships with your neighbors, and remember, you don't need to be best friends to look out for each other!

7) Laminated Windows. These types of windows are very difficult to break and gain entry through. Install laminated windows on the first floor of your home. Notice I did not mention a home alarm system! While still practical, an alarm is only good after someone breaks in. It's also one more "thing" to fiddle with. Good luck!

Tesi Treuenfels, a longtime Mar Vista resident and columnist, let us know that the Mar Vista certified Farmers’ Market is back! It is 2 p.m., rain or shine, on Grandview Blvd., south of Venice Blvd. This wonderful festive market features numerous farmers making the trip from all over California. They bring fresh-picked and dried fruit, nuts, berries, greens, mushrooms, veggies, grass-fed meats and cheeses, sustainably-raised chicken, pork, lamb, raw cow’s and goat’s milk, and other offerings directly from the farm. Also offered are fresh-squeezed juices and sustainably caught, wild local seafood from the waters off California. If you bring your doggie, there is a dog- sitting service.

I went to the market for the first time in two years. What a beautiful gift. The vision of this local market has come of age. I felt like dancing, and I did, next to the stand with my neighbors and friends.

By Michael Byrne

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