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Preventing Home Invasions – Security Tips

Do you know what to do around your home to help prevent burglaries? There are certain preventative measures that you can do around your home to help it become more burglarproof and to decrease your risk. These tasks are minor items that you should be doing to decrease the odds of your home being broken into.

Answering the door:

  • Do not open doors to total strangers.
  • Install peepholes and talk through the door.
  • Home invaders pose as delivery people, public workers, or people in distress.
  • Always ask for credentials and do not open the door unless you get phone numbers to call their superiors. If someone is in distress, announce through the door that you will call the police for him or her.
  • Teach children to never answer or open a door without an adult at the door with them.
  • Do not open doors until you are satisfied that it is safe to do so. Do not assume you know who is at the door.

    In and around your home:

    • Invest in a well-designed security system for your home including a backup radio or cellular system in case the phone line is cut.
    • Invest in solid doors and good quality locks including deadbolts on doors and windows. This includes sliding glass doors as well. For door walls, use metal rods at the base of the door wall to prevent unauthorized entry.
    • Reinforce all doorframes and all doors. Don’t trust screen doors to keep intruders out. Do not use door chains. Use strong devices that allow you to open the door a couple of inches. Use long screws to attach the devices to the doorframe securely. Whenever you go outside, lock the door and take the key with you even if you are stepping next door or mowing the back yard.
    • Replace basement windows with glass block windows.
    • Don’t put valuables where they can be seen from the window, especially items that can be easily carried.
    • Don’t keep large amounts of cash or really valuable jewelry around the house.
    • Leave more than one interior light on at night.
    • Engrave all valuables such as stereos, microwaves, video cameras, with your driver’s license number. Videotape the contents of your home. Keep the video and the list of all valuables in a safe place such as a safety deposit box.
    • Consider a second phone line or cell phone in your bedroom. Burglars often cut a phone line or remove a telephone from the receiver when they enter a home.

      Outside your home:

      • Keep house numbers easy to see in the event of emergency.
      • Invest in motion sensor lighting that are installed out of reach.
      • Be sure your garage door is secured. Do not leave it open when you are away. An empty garage broadcasts your absence.
      • Leave front and back outside lights on every night of the year.
      • Always double check doors at night and lock all windows.
      • Don’t leave ladders outside.
      • Keep any tools that could be used to break in your home safely locked away in a garage or shed.
      • Trim shrubbery and other landscaping to eliminate any hiding places. Plant thorny bushes under all windows.
      • Don’t hide a spare key under the doormat or under a flower pot.
      • If you don’t have a car, have a neighbor park their car in your driveway.
      • When leaving messages on answering machines, you should have a male voice and indicate there are multiple people living there, even when there isn’t. For example, “We’re not able to come to the phone right now, please leave a message.”

        When leaving town for a period of time:

        • Program interior lighting to come on using timers at various times of the day or night.
        • Be careful of the content of announcements for such things as funerals or weddings announcing it will be held out of town during a specific time frame.
        • Call your local police department or precinct to see if they would be willing to pass by your home at different times to show there is a police presence.
        • Discontinue mail and newspaper service while you are out of town.
        • Forward all mail if you will be gone an extended time.