More burglaries take place during the day when people are working or shopping than at night when people tend to be home. Burglars want and check for an empty house. They primarily attack weak or hidden doors and windows.
1. Forward the telephone to your cell phone or neighbor so burglars won’t know that no one’s home when they call the home.
2. Don’t leave notes for family or friends outside your home.
3. Don’t leave tools or ladders lying around your yard since impulse burglars can use them to gain access into your home.
4. Remove or trim down any shrubs or trees next to your home that could hide a potential burglar around windows.
5. Install sensor lights at all outside entrances.
6. Install deadbolt locks on your outside doors and make sure all door hinges are on the inside.
7. Install a monitored security system, and make sure everyone with house keys knows how to use it. Use it day and night.
8. Lock doors and sliding glass doors all the time.
9. Lock all fence gates so burglars have to climb the fence to enter your backyard.
10. Lock your bedroom door at night so if someone gets into the house they cannot enter your bedroom quietly.
11. If you’re planning for a trip, either have your mail or newspaper picked up by a trusted neighbor or have your local post office stop delivery until you get back. You’ll also want to cancel any other regular deliveries such as newspapers.
12. Tell relatives or neighbors where you can be reached in an emergency and when you’ll be back.
13. Videotape, photograph and keep a written register of all your valuables and their serial numbers.
14. Engrave your valuables with your driver’s license number. This will allow you to legally claim any stolen items and to prosecute a burglar.
15. Store valuable documents such as insurance policies and wills in a safety deposit box.
16. Make contact with the Neighborhood Watch association in your community. This program helps keep you updated on problems in your neighborhood and gets more people to help watch and protect your home and family. If there is no active Neighborhood Watch group in your community, contact your local law enforcement agency to find out how you can start one.
17. Test your security system once a year or after any repairmen have worked in your home.
18. Don’t forget adding a high speed DSL line or Internet telephone line can cause problems with security system communication. Before adding or changing to DSL or Internet phones, talk to your security company.
Personal Safety Tips At Home
When burglarizing a home becomes difficult, hardened criminals often look for other ways to steal. This can lead to crimes such as personal assault, purse snatching, and home invasion.
1. Unfortunately, some burglaries happen while someone is at home. Always keep your doors and windows locked.
2. Most burglars can easily break the latches that are on new windows and sliding doors, so additional clamp or key locks are a necessity on all windows and sliding doors.
3. Put security glassbreak sensors in rooms with sliding doors or big windows.
4. Some burglars smash the front door and try to force the homeowner to turn off the alarm before alarm entry delay is finished and the alarm sounds. Others force the front door early in the evening before the alarm is set by the homeowner. The best defense is to turn on your security system early in the evening and change the front door from delay to instant so a siren sounds as soon as the door is forced open.
A few things to remember:
1. Don’t enter your house if you see signs of forced entry. Go to a neighbor’s house, call the police, and note the description of any strange cars or people near your home.
2. If you detect a burglar, don’t confront them. Confrontation can sometimes turn a burglary into a more dangerous crime.
3. If you’re home alone and the doorbell rings, don’t open the door, but go to the door and talk. If you’re a woman, say, “My husband is watching television” and “I’m not interested.” Burglars want a home that is empty, so your voice will usually discourage them. We had one customer who didn’t answer the doorbell and the burglar broke in the back door. He ran when she screamed.
4. If a stranger wants to use your phone, don't let them inside. If they say they have an emergency such as their car breaking down, take down the details with your security door closed and make the call for them.
5. Never tell a stranger you are home alone.
6. All representatives of legitimate companies have ID cards. If you're even a little bit unsure about a person at your front door, write down their ID or badge number and make sure you lock the door before calling their company for verification.
7. If you get a harassing phone call, say nothing and hang up the phone immediately. If you keep getting them, call the police and your telephone company. Also consider installing an answering machine or caller ID unit so you can screen your calls before you answer them.
The Front Door
A locked front door is your first line of defense. And with locks, you get what you pay for. By spending a few dollars more for a good lock, you can potentially save thousands. So get the best quality locks you can afford. We recommend deadbolt locks. Deadbolts provide better security than sliding locks because they can’t be opened without a key. A reinforced strike plate on the frame is essential because it usually is the frame that gives, not the lock.
Without a deadlock, burglars may be able to open your front door simply by using a credit card to push back the tongue of the lock.
Another good investment is a peephole. 180 degree peepholes give you the advantage of checking to see who’s at the door before you open it. And make sure that the area outside your door is well lit. If you can’t see who’s at the door, don’t open it.
In The Spotlight
Two of a burglar’s biggest enemies are noise and light. Installing lights around your home that are activated by movement can help scare off unwelcome visitors. Exterior sensor lights also help to light the path to your front door when you come home. It’s also a good idea to use timers to light inside areas of your home if you’re home alone or away. Setting these economical timers gives the appearance that someone is at home, and is a good way to make sure you’re consistently protected.
Your Most Dangerous Room in the House: The Kitchen
The biggest dangers are the oven and range. Always make sure your burners are off when you leave the house or go to sleep at night. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy in this area, and that all members of your household know where it is and how to use it. And of course, if you smell gas, you are advised to leave your home immediately. Once you’re in a safe location, call the gas company and alert them to the situation.