Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Burglary Prevention tips from MPD First District Commander Hickson

More helpful suggestions on deterring home burglaries from MPD.  Not mentioned is a home security system, though we've heard police recommend them frequently in the past and recommend them ourselves. 

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
First District


  1. Great article! Just recently wrote a article with some updated tips that could be helpful to readers:
    Burglar Reveals 4 Tips for Home Protection


  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Here’s one mistake a lot of homeowners do: They always leave keys under the doormat or near a plant box. By doing so, you practically give burglars easy access to your home. Give your family members duplicate keys instead.

  4. “Thieves are also quick to spot weak locks that may be easily forced open.”- This is true, especially that today, thieves already know a lot of tactics to get into a house. Make sure that you use good quality locks. Avoid using cheap locks that are easy to break. And yes, using a deadbolt is great, because it provides further protection for your doors. If you have deadbolt, it will be tougher for burglars to gain access to your home.

  5. As much as possible, exercise some caution when you use your social networking accounts, especially if you’re the kind who posts about every detail of your life. If your profile can be viewed by anyone, avoid broadcasting your whereabouts. This may tip off burglars that you’re away from home and encourage them to target your house.

  6. In addition to light timers, a burglar deterrent CD or MP3 can be played to mimic home occupancy while the owner is away.