Community Crime Watch
Good Security Habits Keep Burglars Away
- House Numbers – House numbers should be visible day and night from the street, and garages located in alleys should be numbered. In rural areas name and number should be displayed on the mailbox. This is important for the police officer when responding to a complaint.
- Shrubbery – Is there a clear view of the door? Or, are they hidden by shrubbery? If so, thin the growth so that the burglar is denied the opportunity to work undetected.
- Re–Key Locks – This should be done when moving into an apartment, or with second ownership of homes. This procedure is relatively inexpensive to the resident.
- Use Locks – An unlocked lock is not a lock! Habitually locking the home, closing and locking garage doors when away or at night is something that might be emphasized with every resident.
- Hiding Keys – An extra key hidden in a secret location should always be avoided. A burglar knows all the “hiding spots” and will look there for spare keys.
- Clean Up – Clean up your yard area. Never leave small portable items (lawn chairs, tricycles, bicycles, etc) lying around where they may be easily stolen. Keep them in the garage with the door closed and locked. Any ladder should be stored inside. If you must leave one outside, lock it up securely. Don’t provide a burglar with the means to break into your home.
- Your Routine – Alter your daily routine occasionally, to confuse any would–be–burglar who may be watching your house.
- Lighting – Turning interior lamps on with a timer is inexpensive and is recommended. A transistor radio left playing when away will also confuse the burglar. External lighting is also important, but exclusive use of outside lighting when the home is unoccupied may actually tip off the burglar. Report any broken streetlights in your neighborhood.
- Admitting Strangers – Always be careful about admitting strangers. Identification of salespersons, public utilities personnel, repairpersons, and stranded strangers should always be required before opening the door. A wide–angle door viewer is an absolute must if visibility of callers is not possible. Partially opening the door with a door chain is a practice that must be discouraged.
- Vacation Procedures – If you will be gone for a long time, stop all mail and newspaper deliveries. Make arrangements to have the lawn mowed or snow shoveled. Secure home and leave lights on a timer. Leave a key to your home with a trusted neighbor in case of emergency. Also notify the police in your area and request a vacation watch.