Crime Prevention Tips For the Home
Burglary is a crime of opportunity. Many burglars will spend no longer than 60 seconds to try breaking into a home. Make their work risky and difficult and you stand a good chance of stopping them before they get in. Burglars like to remain invisible. They hide behind fences and shrubbery. Prune back shrubbery so it doesn't hide doors or windows. Cut back tree limbs which could be used to climb to an upper level window.
Burglars will try your doors and windows first. In almost half of all completed residential burglaries, thieves simply breezed in through unlocked doors or crawled through unlocked windows. Many times they will move to another property if they have difficulty here.
Alarms can be a good investment, especially if you have many valuables in your home. Check with several companies before you buy so you can decide what level of security fits your need. Do business with an established company. If you install an alarm, learn how to use your system properly. Don't cry wolf by setting off false alarms. Let burglars know you've installed an alarm system by putting warning signs in windows and entrances. Every alarm system should include a fail-safe battery backup, a fire-sensing capability and a feedback device to check the system. Check with a reputable security consultant.
If you come home and something looks questionable - a slit in a screen, a broken window or open door - don't go in. Call the police from a neighbor's house or a public phone. By ordinance you must display your house number clearly. Doing so will assist law enforcement or other emergency vehicles in finding your home quickly.
If you travel, create the illusion that you are at home by getting timers which 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 your shades, blinds and curtains in normal positions. And don't let your mail or newspapers pile up.
Finally, if burglars do obtain entry to your home, you need to be able to identify your valuables if they are recovered. Make a list of VCRs, stereos, computers, jewelry, etc. Take photos of the items and list their serial numbers and descriptions. Engrave an identifying mark or number on the items.