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Burglary Prevention Tips

Doors

  • Lock your door, even when mowing/ shoveling etc.
  • Be sure deadbolt extends at least 1 1⁄2 inches into doorframe.
  • Use long screws to secure locks into the doorframe. (3”)
  • Make sure deadbolt can’t be reached or turned if a small window is broken or opened.
  • Make sure wood around the lock receiver is in good shape and use a metal strike plate.
  • If you use the double sided key deadbolt, keep key nearby, but in unusual spot (not hanging on the wood molding, right next to the lock! Go for lower position)
  • If you have storm doors, use them. If locks are broken, install latch.
  • Be sure you have a way to see who is at the door before you open it (peephole, nearby window). Direct to other door if not. Don’t ignore violators of this.

Windows

  • Do not assume any first floor window is too high for someone to get in. Look for hose outlets, electric meters, gas inlets, or molding that someone could stand on. Windows may be reached if a garbage toter or outdoor furniture is used.
  • Secure your garbage toter.
  • Use pins on vinyl windows when left open to prevent them from being opened wider to allow entry. On wood windows, nails work in place of pins.
  • Use curtains, drapes, or blinds on first floor windows, especially near holidays.
  • Secure basement windows. Glass block runs about $125 a window, $2 for 2×4’s.
  • Use “Charley-Bar” on sliding glass doors and windows.
  • Make sure air conditioners cannot be pushed in or pulled out.
  • Secure second floor windows if they can be accessed from porch, attached garage or other low roof, large tree branches, etc.
  • Keep shrubs below window level.
  • Never bar bedroom windows.

Alarms

  • Consider installing an alarm or even just putting the signs up.
  • If you have an alarm- use it, always.
  • Clean alarm panel: code may be obvious by which numbers are dirty.
  • Make sure the alarm panel isn’t visible from a door or window.
  • Make sure your alarm company has updated info.

Cars

  • Do not keep valuables in your car either in plain sight or out of sight. Thieves will break into your car for the smallest of rewards, including pocket change.
  • Once in your car, they will rummage through the trunk. Valuables include cell phones, GPS units, radar detectors, computers, purses, gym bags, brief cases, portfolios, etc.
  • If you must keep items in your car for convenience, such as an umbrella or snow brush, keep the items in your trunk or out of sight. Don’t assume your purse or computer is safe in your trunk.
  • Keep the inside of your car clean and free of clutter. It’s best not to have anything, not even a penny, in sight. A car with nothing in it is not a desirable target.
  • Lock your car at all times.
  • Use a steering wheel club.
  • Keep your car free of snow, even if not used often.

Other Tips

  • Hide true valuables in kid’s rooms or basements—burglars don’t generally look there. Kitchen, living room, bathroom and master bedroom-first hit.
  • Keep cell charger on nightstand so cell phone is at your bedside at night.
  • Keep car keys on nightstand if you have keyless entry. You can hit the panic button if you awake to something happening.
  • Light your yard at night. (60 watt, 300 hours/month= 99 cents.)
  • Dogs are great deterrents.
  • Dog walkers notice things; don’t be afraid to call neighbors to report something.
  • Leaving a TV or radio on can serve as a good burglar deterrent.
  • Get to know neighbors behind you.
  • Know your mailman by name.
  • Pay attention to people visiting the neighborhood. Burglars don’t always look like crooks; they may have been to your house before for delivery or yard maintenance.
  • Make sure house numbers are highly visible and in usual spot.
  • Use a baby monitor in areas you are concerned about.
  • Record all serial numbers of electronics (phones, televisions, VCRs, video games, power tools, lawn equipment, etc). Use an address book to organize these.
  • When purchasing these items don’t put the empty boxes at the curb. A 60’ TV box means a 60’ TV is inside, and new!
  • Neighborly behavior
  • No unregistered/unsightly cars, boats, RVs.
  • No vehicles on lawn.
  • Dogs: keep them leashed and clean up after them.
  • Music: 50 feet daytime, property line at night.
  • Bring garbage toters back in a timely manner.
  • Keep yard free of trash and debris.