Crime Prevention Tips

Articles
PDF Document At Home Alone, A Parents Guide
PDF Document What Is Identity Theft?
Email Breach: 8 Ways to Protect Yourself
PDF Document Showing Your Home to Buyers
Tips to Prevent Car Break-Ins

Forms
PDF Document Personal and Home Security Survey
PDF Document Property and Security Check Form

Vacation Tips

Help crime take a vacation when you do!

An empty house is a tempting target for a burglar. Use this checklist of tips to help safeguard your home while you're away.

  • Have good locks on all doors and windows and use them!
  • Ask a trusted neighbor to watch the house while you're away. It's a good idea to leave your vacation address and telephone number with a neighbor so you can be reached in case of an emergency.
  • Never leave your house key hidden outside your home.
  • Stop all deliveries, or arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail, newspapers, and packages.
  • Arrange for someone to mow your lawn, rake leaves, and maintain the yard to give the home a lived-in look.
  • Plug in timers to turn lights, a radio, or television on and off at appropriate times. This helps to disguise the fact that you are away.
  • Turn the bell or ringer on your telephone down low. If a burglar is around, he won't be alerted to your absence by a ringing phone.
  • Don't announce your absence on answering machine messages.
  • Leave your blinds, shades and curtains in a normal position. Don't close them unless that is what you do when you are home.
  • Close and lock garage doors and windows.
  • Secure storage sheds, attic entrances, and gates.
  • Tell your local police you plan to be away. Patrol officers may have the opportunity to periodically check your home.
  • Engrave your valuables. This simple step will allow your stolen property to be identified and returned to you if recovered by the police.

Home/Business Security Tips

Although there is no guarantee against break-ins, there are a few simple steps residents and business owners can take to reduce their chances of victimization. The primary step is to take a security survey of your home to identify those areas that could be made more secure.

  • Address:
    • Make sure that your address is visible on your house or business and can be read from the street, especially at night.
  • Lighting:
    • Good outside lighting can be a deterrent to burglars. Light those areas that are accessible to prowlers and visible to your neighbors. These include all doors and windows.
    • Any spotlights that you install should shine on those areas, not out into the yard.
    • Timers on your outside lights that will go on and off with the rising and setting of the sun.
    • Do not leave porch lights on during the day--to burglars it's a sure sign that no one's home.
  • Landscaping
    • Expose your house or business to the surrounding area.
    • Make sure bushes do not hide your door from view, making it possible for burglars to spend more time breaking in.
    • Bushes should be trimmed to below window level so that burglars can't have a secluded place to break into. Also, your visibility to your neighbor’s house or business will be improved.
    • For larger shrubs, trim up from the ground three feet to increase exposure of anyone hiding behind them.
    • Hedges should be trimmed no higher than three feet.
    • Shrubbery provides not only cover for burglars, but hiding places for tools and stolen property.
  • Doors
    • Exterior doors should be solid, not hollow core.
    • Sliding glass doors should have a dowel in the track to prevent opening. Place screws in the upper track so that they do not touch the door as it slides but prevents someone from lifting the door out of the track.
    • Double doors should have one side locked at all times by a heavy duty flush or surface bolts that go into metal strike plates. Deadbolts should also be used.

NOTE: These recommendations, if implemented, should substantially reduce the risk of a criminal opportunity but are not to be construed as a guarantee that a crime will not occur on the premises.

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