TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOUR HOME
Door should be metal clad or solid core wood construction. A deadlock, in addition to the key-in-the-knob lock, is important. Use a wide-angle viewer rather than a door chain to observe callers. A locked screen or storm door offers additional protection. GROUND FLOOR WINDOWS
All ground floor windows should have key operated sash locks. Keep your windows closed and locked when away. Securely fasten screen and storm windows.
UPPER FLOOR WINDOWS
Keep your second floor secure by trimming branches away from the house to prevent climbing and do not store ladders where a burglar can use them. Lock all windows when away.
Close and lock basement windows. If they are not required for ventilation, they should be permanently secured by using screws through the window frame into the structure. Treat the door from your basement as you would an exterior door from the main part of your house.
The garage door should always be closed and locked. A burglar in your garage can work on your house door undetected.
PORCH / PATIO DOORS
Treat all exterior doors on the rear and sides of your home as probable targets for entry. Sliding glass doors can be secured in addition to their locks by using dowels and/or sheet metal screws from the inside.
Each exterior entrance, including the garage door, should be well lighted. Post lights in your yard or floodlights mounted under the eaves to prevent blind spots where burglars can hide. Install low cost controls for exterior lights which will turn them on and off at specified times or light sensors that illuminate from dusk to dawn.
When you are away from home, keep some interior lights on using timers to turn them off and on at normal times. A radio or television playing will add to the illusion that the house is occupied.
When planting trees, bushes and flowers remember to keep doorways, windows and porches clear. Remember…the bushes that provide you with privacy also give a burglar a place to hide. Plan your landscaping with both privacy and security in mind.
Talk with your neighbors about your concerns regarding burglary. Tell them what you are doing to protect your home and ask them to report any type of suspicious persons or activities around your home to you the Police Department. Good neighbors make safe neighborhoods.
Store valuables such as jewelry, cash or collectibles carefully. You may want to consider using a safe deposit box. Using obscure or different locations for these types of articles can thwart a burglar's attempt to locate them. Store furs off-site during the off season.
Keep serial numbers of cameras, TV's, stereos, bicycles, etc. Take photographs of furniture, paintings, etc. Mark or identify your possessions with an easily identifiable number or mark to aid police in tracing or locating items.
Do not hide extra keys in the mailbox, under the doormat or elsewhere. Family members should have their own set of keys. Do not pass out extra keys to workers or trades people.
If your house has an alarm system, use it.
When on vacation, cancel routine deliveries such as newspapers, mail, etc., or have a neighbor pick these items up on a daily basis. Notify police of the times and dates you will be away. Use some automatic timers for your lights. Check all doors and windows before you leave to make sure they are locked. Have a neighbor check your home occasionally and let them know where you will be.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU COME HOME AND THINK YOU HAVE BEEN THE VICTIM OF A BURGLARY
Do not enter your home if you have not already done so. Go to a neighbor's and contact the police from there - try to observe any related activity while doing so.
If you have already entered your home and have determined that there are no intruders, contact police immediately and try to keep all persons in one location until police arrive. This is to avoid contaminating the crime scene evidence. Do not touch anything unless absolutely necessary. You may inadvertently contaminate evidence such as fingerprints, footprints, or any other type of evidence.
Report all suspicious activity to the police as soon as possible. Nothing is too insignificant in this regard. If the police are not made aware of a situation, they can't investigate.
Educate children and family members on crime prevention methods and what to do if they come home and discover a possible burglary. Also, educate them on how to handle strangers in the neighborhood or unfamiliar people who come calling at your home. Teach them to be aware of who and what is around them, who belongs in the neighborhood and who does not. Teach them to call the police right away if they have a fear or concern. Again, no call is too small. Always know where your children are and with whom.