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  Home Safety Tips

Secure Your Home

Burglars look for a house that can be broken into quickly - in a minute or less.  If your house looks locked up, highly visible (to passersby and neighbors) and secure, they will no doubt pass it by.

Three elements must be present in order for a crime to be committed:

  • The desire to commit a crime; and

  • The ability to commit a crime; and

  • The opportunity to commit a crime.

 

Make Home Safety a Family Responsibility

Talk to everyone in your family about assuming responsibility for keeping your house safe. Safety requires committed participation.

  • Keep shrubs around doors and windows pruned so that thieves cannot use them for cover while attempting to break into your home.

  • Install outdoor floodlights or motion-sensor lights to illuminate areas outside your home where burglars could allude detection.

  • Sliding doors are often the target for ingress. You can help make them safer by installing locks or by putting a broomstick or wooden dowel in the inside track to prevent the door from sliding. You may want to install a nail on the side of the tract so the window cannot be lifted out.

  • Never hide an extra key under your door mat or nearby under a flower pot or big rock. Burglars know these favorite spots. Leave your key with a neighbor.

  • Never leave high-value items unsecured outside the home in plain sight, such as riding lawn mowers, snowmobiles and ATVís Ė they may be too much of a temptation for those who long for such items.

  • If you install a peephole in your entry door so that you can see out without opening the door, you may want to make an inconspicuous cover for it since now there is a device on the market that is a "reverse peephole" which enables others to see into your house through the peephole.

  • Lock everything. Keep your doors and windows locked, even basement and attic. Make sure your garage is all locked up.

    • A small person could come in an open garage during the day and hide there until later - some people do not lock the door between their kitchen and garage - or it can be broken without detection if you are not home and the garage was closed up.

  • When you drive into your garage, be vigilant to anyone sneaking in behind your car. Close the door immediately. Keep your garage free of debris that a thief could use as cover.

  • Donít habitually approach your house at the same time or from the same direction.  Break up your routine so that it cannot be used against you.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Notice suspect activity - strangers taking an inordinate interest in your home; driving past it too slowly, or too often.

  • Donít leave ladders or tools outside for burglars to use to get into your house. And donít forget to secure the doggie door.

  • Some people "set a trap" so that they will know if their home has been entered during their absence. (Remember the old match or piece of thread trick.) If you do come home and have reason to believe someone has entered or still may be inside your home, do not enter the house. Retreat or go to a neighbors and call 9-1-1.

  • If you leave your home for a few days, depending upon the season take appropriate steps to make your house have a lived-in appearance.

    • In winter, arrange for someone to shovel your walks and driveway.

    • In summer arrange to have someone mow your lawn.

    • In autumn have your leaves raked.

  • While you are away from home,

    • Use a timer to turn on and off lights throughout the house to simulate normal routines. You may want to include a radio on the timer, set to a station that has a lot of "talk shows."

    • Stop newspapers. Arrange to have your mail held at the Post Office.

    • Donít leave a note on your door or in your email away message announcing when you left and when you are coming back.

    • Leave shades and draperies in normal positions during absence.

  • Leave an itinerary with a neighbor or relative. You may want to check-in from time-to-time so that they can keep you advised of anything happening at hour home and also for you to keep them advised of your whereabouts and travel plans. Leave a trail of breadcrumbs in case you need to be found.