Burglaries happen everywhere. But sometimes, in some places, due to numerous reasons, burglaries become more frequent and sometimes by a lot. It doesn’t matter how high or low the crime rate is in your town; it is essential to keep your home as secure as possible. Just outside of Seattle, the Quincy police department recently stated, “To help with the recent burglaries, we have compiled a list of tips to help you protect your home from being targeted.”
One thing is clear about their tips: They recommend good, strong locks on all doors.
- Make your home look occupied and make it difficult to break in.
- Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Don’t allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers to build up while you are away. Arrange with the post office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take it in regularly.
- Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
- Push-button locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors like the Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolt.
- Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
- Always lock your garden shed and garage.
- Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
- Never leave notes on your door such as “Gone shopping.”
- Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
- When moving into a new home, have all locks changed. Stores like Home Depot and Lowes have great residential brands, such as Schlage.
- Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
- Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
- An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There are a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
- Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other “secret” hiding places. Burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
- Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home. This is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters as well as burglaries. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
- Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 911 immediately.
- Join the block watch. Work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.
For residents who arrive home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:
- Do not enter—the perpetrator may still be inside.
- Use a cell phone (or a neighbor’s phone) to call police.
- Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
- Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
- Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.
Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen.
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