Burglary Prevention Tips
· Keep all doors and windows closed and securely fastened. An open window or door is an open invitation for burglars. Thieves are also quick to spot weak locks that may be easily forced open. Doors should have deadbolt locks with a one inch throw and reinforced strike plate with three inch screws. All windows should have window locks.
· Secure sliding glass doors. Place a metal rod or piece of plywood in the track and install vertical bolts. These will help prevent burglars from forcing the door open or lifting it off the track.
· Always lock the door to an attached garage. Don’t rely on your automatic garage door opener for security.
· Create the illusion that you are home by using timers on lights, radios and TV’s. Making your residence appear occupied, even when no one is home, will deter criminals.
· Keep the perimeter of your home well lighted. Installing low voltage outdoor lighting is a cost-effective way to discourage intruders, as well as highlight a house. These should be supplements by bright motion-sensitive lighting.
· Never leave clues that you are away on a trip. Have a trusted neighbor collect mail and newspapers while you are away so delivered items do not accumulate. You can also ask a neighbor to park in your driveway or parking place to make it appear that you are present.
· Keep some shades and blinds up and curtains open to maintain a normal, everyday appearance in your residence.
· Never leave a message on your telephone answering machine telling people that you are away from home. A message that you will return at a certain time leaves your home vulnerable in the interim.
· Keep shrubbery trimmed away from entrances and walkways. While large, ornate hedges may be beautiful, they also provide a hiding place for burglars who need only a minute to break in through a window or door.
Our number 1 tip is to always lock your doors and windows. I’m sure that some think that it is silly to remind folks to lock their doors, but you may be surprised how many unlocked homes are burglarized. During the holiday season we also need to be aware of advertising to potential thieves what items you may have received as gifts. Be mindful of how you dispose of boxes for computers, televisions and video game systems.
The First District also has officers who have experience in conducting home security surveys. If you would like an officer to conduct a survey and assessment of your home, contact your PSA lieutenant.
Commander Daniel Hickson
Metropolitan Police Department