Thursday, December 11, 2014

Preventing Burglary

 It's sad to say, but our usually quite neighborhood has seen an up-tic in theft and vandalism, particularly to vehicles.  Although the answer to crime is really a community and even more specifically a family issue, there are things that you can do to help protect yourself.

  1. Maintain your doors and locks:  First make sure to actually use the locks on your doors, but don't forget to make sure they are working properly.  Make sure screws on door knobs and deadbolts are tight and that the handles don't wiggle when pulled on.  Check to see that your latch (that's the part that come out of the side of the door) actually sets into the hole of the catch or strike plate on the frame of the door.  If this is not operating correctly, then a simple credit card swipe can open the handle lock.
  2. Use your window locks properly:  I've been on countless roofs working on shingles or screens and find time and time again that upper story windows are often left unlocked.  Make sure that the windows are closed all the way and that the latch is actually in the slot or metal catch designed to hold the window shut.
  3. Install safety lighting:  Consider adding or swapping out one of your light fixtures with a motion detector light.  Criminals hate being visible so shine a little light on them.  This just might save your care window and stereo some time.
  4. Be careful what is in plain site:  Don't leave valuables where they can be seen by looking in a window.  This goes for cars and homes alike.  It's like giving the thief a reason to try to get in.
  5. Don't leave your garage door open:  Every year, thousands of personal items just grow legs and walk off because a passer by saw them sitting in an open garage.  Keep your stuff private and it will hang around longer.
  6. Don't be careless with spare keys:  The old key under the mat was great in Mayberry, but not so great for modern day cities.  Consider purchasing a lock box that can be mounted with screws to the back side of a fence or the underside of your deck for emergency entries.  Key pad garage door openers also work well as a second means of entry.

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