Dinnertime burglaries are a familiar occurrence in recent years. More than 40% of home burglaries occurred during these hours through unlocked doors and windows. Using caution and common sense can prevent most of these burglaries. Crime does not discriminate; anyone can become a victim. By making a small investment of your time and money you can make your home safer and less of a target for a “would be a burglar”.
- Secure your home prior to leaving by locking all doors and windows and if you have an alarm use it, and set it.
- Make your home appear occupied, use timers on lights, radios and televisions.
- Advertise your home as being equipped with an alarm system by using window stickers and yard signs.
- Alarms should be audible and loud enough to alert neighbors on all sides of your home.
- Your immediate family should be educated in the home security program and advised of any changes, i.e. alarm codes, re-keying of locks.
- Supplemental security devices such as pressure sensitive mats can be added to each room. These mats are useful and are easily disguised alerting you of any entry into the home.
- All exterior doors should be made of metal or solid hardwood at a minimum thickness of 1-3/4 inch. Hardware should include quality strike plates, hinges and single cylinder deadbolt locks with a minimum of 1-1/2 inch throw bolt.
- Sliding glass doors should be secured with commercially available supplemental locks or at minimum place a one-inch thick broomstick or wood dowel in the lower track. Install shims or self-tapping screws in the upper track above both doors to prevent it from being lifted out of its track.
- Double hung windows should be secured with commercially available supplemental locks. These locks can be easily removed in case of a fire.
- Secure valuables in a floor or wall safe. When choosing a location for the safe, DO NOT install it in obvious locations, i.e. master bedroom closet, look to other locations within the home.
- Apply hurricane/security film to exterior windows and glass doors, especially sliding glass doors. This product must be professional installed and will prevent the glass from being removed as a sheet.
- Be aware of your surroundings when leaving for the evening noting unfamiliar persons and vehicles. Don’t second-guess yourself! If you feel like you should report the incident to the police then call.
- Look beyond locks and alarms. Trim shrubbery that conceals windows and doors. This will eliminate hiding places for criminals who are trying to force their way into your home.
- Add motion detection lighting to all corners of your home and replace outages as necessary.
- Stay involved with your community by starting a Neighborhood Watch Program. This type of structured plan will help you to get to know your neighbors and keep your neighborhood safe.
Understanding Crime Prevention
Crime Prevention is defined as “the anticipation, recognition and appraisal of a crime risk and the initiation of some action to remove it or reduce it. It is commonly recognized that three variables must be present in order for a crime to occur, they are as follows: the desire of the criminal, the ability of the criminal to carry out the criminal act and the opportunity given to the criminal by the potential victim. If one of these three variables is removed, there is a distinct possibility that the crime will not occur.