Home Crime Prevention Tips
Check the locks:
- Leave drapes and shades open. Closed drapes and shades indicate an unoccupied house.
- Have your lawn taken care of. Dry uncut grass says you are away.
- Put peepholes in front doors. Those with magnifying glass lens are best. You can see who is outside without opening the door. Consider door chains, too. Never leave a note on your door saying you are not home.
- Take care of your keys...don't leave a key under a doormat, flower pot or on a ledge. Burglars look in these locations first. Never leave an ignition key in your car and never put a house key on your automobile key chain.
- If you have a dog or an alarm, display "BEWARE" signs. These deter thieves.
- Ask your local police to check your home periodically when you will be gone for an extended period.
- Leave a radio on. Turn it to a talk station and turn the volume loud enough to be heard outside. Turn down the phone ringer down so that a prowler cannot hear the phone ring from outside.
- Do not keep expensive jewelry at home unless you have a secure safe.
- Light the outside of your home. Outside lights should illuminate doors and dark areas.
- Put interior lights on timers to simulate that someone is home.
- Mark valuable items with your drivers license number. Keep a list of these items.
- Secure patio doors. A steel or wooden rod in the guide will work. A pin type lock may also be used for added security. Look into an alarm system.
- Keep shrubs trimmed. Thick or tall shrubs can hide windows and doors. This gives a thief a place to work unseen.
- Make an inventory of items in your home. Take photos of valuable items. Keep on copy and give a copy to your insurance company.
- If your going to be gone for an extended amount of time, have someone pick up your mail and news papers. Mail and news papers lying on the porch is a great indicator that no one is home.
- If you were locked out of your house, would you still be able to get in? Maybe you keep an unlocked window in the back, or a hidden key in your mailbox or on top of a window ledge? You may think this is a good idea, but guess what? If you can break in, so can a burglar!
- One out of ten homes will be burglarized this year. For a small amount of time and money you can make your home more secure and deduce your chances of being a victim. Many burglars will spend no longer than 60 seconds trying to break into a home. Good locks - and good neighbors who watch out for each other - can be deterrents to burglars.
Did you know that in almost of all completed residential burglaries, thieves simply entered homes through unlocked doors or crawled through unlocked windows?
- Make sure every external door has a sturdy, well-installed dead bolt lock. Key-in-the-knob locks alone are not enough.
- Sliding glass doors can offer easy access if they are not properly secured. You can secure them by installing commercially available locks or putting a broomstick or dowel in the inside track tojazn the door. To prevent the door being lifted off the track, drill a hole through the slide door frame and the fixed frame. Then insert a pin in the hole.
- Lock double-hung windows with key locks or "pin" your windows by drilling a small hole into a 45 degree angle between the inner and outer frames, then insert a nail that can be removed. Secure basement windows with grilles or grates.
- Instead of hiding keys around the outside of your home, give an extra key to a neighbor you trust.
- When you move into a new house or apartment, re-key the locks.
Check the doors - A lock on a flimsy door is about as effective as locking your car door but leaving the window down.
Check the outside:
- All outside doors should be metal or solid wood.
- If your doors don't fit tightly in their frames, install weather stripping around them.
- Install a peephole or wide angle viewer in all entry doors so you can see who is outside without opening the door. Door chains break easily and don't keep out intruders.
Look at your house from the outside. Make sure you know the following tips.
- Thieves hate bright lights. Install outside lights and keep them on at night.
Keep your yard clean. Prune back shrubbery so it doesn't hide doors or windows. Cut back tree limbs that a thief could use to climb to an upper-level window.
- If you travel, create the illusion that you're at home by getting some timers that will turn lights on and off in different areas of your house throughout the evening. Lights burning 24 hours a day signal an empty house.
- Leave shades, blinds, and curtains in normal positions. And don't let your mail pile up! Call the post office to stop delivery or have a neighbor pick it up.
- Make a list of your valuables - VCRs, stereos, computers, jewelry. Take photos of the items, list their serial numbers and description. Check with law enforcement about engraving your valuables through Operation Identification.
- Ask local law enforcement for a free home security survey.