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The air pollution in Delhi this Diwali is worse than the past two years, say experts

The air quality has been rated 'severe', and people are advised not to engage in strenuous physical activity outdoors in such conditions.

A thick haze of pollution has descended on Delhi, leaving experts worried that the conditions over the Diwali weekend are likely to be the worst in the past three years. The Centre’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research declared that the the air quality was “severe” on Saturday and will be even worse on Sunday and Monday, The Hindu reported. Experts suggest that when a severe alert is put, people should avoid strenuous physical activity outdoors, especially children, the elderly and those with lung or heart problems.

The Air Quality Index fell well below acceptable levels, hitting 443 on Sunday, and is expected to touch 472 on Monday. Any reading above 300 is considered “very poor”, while it is rated “severe” beyond 400. At severe levels, even healthy citizens are considered at risk for breathing difficulties. The conditions will improve only after November 1, the agency said. The levels of particulate matter in the air, which determine pollution, became higher than those in 2014 and 2015 after October 25, officials told The Hindu.

The government claims agricultural fires from the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana are “a major contributor” to the pollution in the Capital, along with “inversion and calm meteorological conditions". The meteorological department said low wind speeds had caused pollutants to remain suspended in the air.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.


2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.