quick reads

The big news: Heavy rain forces Mumbai airport to shut main runway, and nine other top stories

Other headlines: The Madras High Court extended its stay on a floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, and a strong quake in Mexico killed at least 217 people.

A look at the headlines right now:

  1. 56 flights diverted as Mumbai airport shuts main runway: The civic body clarified that the Met Department had not issued any cyclone warning.
  2. Madras High Court extends stay on floor test in Tamil Nadu Assembly: TTV Dinakaran’s lawyer said Speaker P Dhanpal had misused the anti-defection law to disqualify the 18 MLAs who supported the ousted leader.
  3. At least 217 dead as massive earthquake hits central Mexico: President Enrique Peña Nieto said more than 20 children had died after a three-storey school building crumbled in Mexico City.
  4. Rs 389-crore dam in Bihar collapses a day before Nitish Kumar was meant to inaugurate it: Nearby areas were flooded, and several incidents of water-logging were reported. 
  5. Delhi High Court invites suggestions on whether media should be allowed to live report proceedings: In a notice, it has included 13 questions on a number of subjects – from media accreditation to penalising court reporters. 
  6. MS Dhoni nominated by BCCI for India’s third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan: If selected, the 36-year-old will become the 11th Indian cricketer to receive the honour. 
  7. India won the moral battle when Pakistan refused to acknowledge surgical strikes, says ex-Army commander: Days ahead of the one-year mark of the mission, Lieutenant General DS Hooda said the Army was prepared to carry out another such operation again.   
  8. Punjab and Haryana High Court rejects anticipatory bail pleas of Ryan International school owners: The Haryana government has asked the Centre to have the CBI investigate the Class 2 student’s killing.
  9. Former headmaster in Tamil Nadu sentenced to 55 years in jail for sexually abusing 22 schoolgirls: The Madurai District Court also fined S Arockiasamy Rs 12 lakh, which will be distributed among the students.
  10. Eighteen McDonald’s outlets in Delhi resume operations: Forty-three outlets of the fast food chain in the city were shut since June because their licences were not renewed. 
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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.

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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.