Intermediate Listening Practice

The Home Fort - Transcript

A radio discussion about crime and home security.

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Chris: Turning to crime now or rather crime prevention. Now there's been a wave of house break-ins in the city in the last month or so and we invited Helen Giddings from Sabre Security to speak with us on the show today and find out what we as house owners can do to best protect our property. Welcome, Helen.

Helen: Thank you for having me on today, Chris.

Chris: I suppose you have been following the recent crime wave in the newspapers, Helen? What do you think is happening?

Helen: Yes, it's terrible. I think a lot of people are forgetting some very basic security precautions that they should be taking. Companies like Sabre Security can help to make our homes safer, but you must remember all those things our parents and grandparents told us when we were growing up: "you must lock the back door", "you shouldn't leave any windows open", those types of things. Another thing to look out for is where thieves can get easy access to the back of your house. Thieves love nothing more than being able to hide themselves far from the street where they can get on with their activities without being disturbed.

Chris: A lot of people live on open land or in the country where it's very difficult to make the garden secure. What do you suggest for people who are in that situation?

Helen: Security companies like ourselves sell many high-tech tools such as cameras and motion detectors that can be used, but people have to use good old-fashioned technology too: fences, strong gates and of course the house owner's best friend, the dog.

Chris: Well I have to say I agree 100% with you, Helen. We have a six-year old Boxer and we don't look after him, he looks after us! If there's any noise around the house, our dog will bark a few times just to let everybody know who's boss.

Helen: Absolutely. I think a good guard dog is the best possible security precaution that any family can have. They can hear better than us, they can see better than us.

Chris: Many families are setting off on vacation at this time of the year. What extra precautions can we take to make sure we don't come back to smashed windows and empty jewellery boxes?

Helen: You're right, it's a very risky period and police statistics do show that thieves do enjoy more success during this vacation period. The best advice we can give is not to advertise the fact that you are going on vacation. Stop all deliveries so that your front lawn or porch does not fill up with magazines or newspapers. Tell a neighbour to look out for suspicious activity and, of course, make sure your house is secure: all windows and doors firmly closed and locked.

Chris: Before we finish today, Helen, is there anything else you would like to tell our listeners about crime prevention, perhaps something they haven't considered?

Helen: Don't make things easy for somebody who wants to break into your house. Plants climbing up the outside walls of your house may look pretty, but they are also pretty green ladders for anyone who wants to reach a window that might be open on the upper floor. The same can also be said for decorative wooden frameworks and things of that nature.

Chris: We need to look at our houses through the eyes of a criminal, don't we?

Helen: We really do! I think a good deal of common sense, as I said before, the basics, a dog, good fences, secure windows and doors, this will take care of most potential problems. Thieves do not wish to spend ten minutes trying to get into a house - they will move onto the next house, one where somebody hasn't followed these simple suggestions.

Chris: Helen Giddings, thank you for coming and speaking to us today.

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