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House Break Prevention and the Holiday Season
Posted on November 26, 2013 at 8:37 AM by Jeffrey Rudinski
As the holidays are approaching, many of us will be travelling to visit friends and families and leaving our homes unoccupied. Please remember that the bad guys see this as an opportune time to break into homes. The following is a list of things a homeowner can do to thwart potential thieves.
The burglary basics:
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.
Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
Keep your garage door closed and locked.
Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
Arrange for your lawn to be mowed or driveway plowed if you are going away for an extended time.
Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
Pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.
Don't tempt a thief:
Lawn mowers, snow blowers, barbecues and bicycles are best stored out of sight.
Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
Never leave notes on your door such as "Gone shopping."
Locks…get the best:
No lock, regardless of its quality, can be truly effective. Key-in dead bolt locks provide minimum security. Ask a locksmith for advice on your situation.
Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
When moving into a new home, have all locks changed.
Targeting the Outside:
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.
Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.
Most windows can be pinned for security.
An alarm system can assist with home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There is a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
Make several inquiries to different companies for the best security system available to you. ASK your alarm company how long it takes them to contact Police.
If Your Home Is Broken Into:
If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:
Do not enter - the perpetrator may still be inside.
Use a cell phone or 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.
Other precautions you should take:
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. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
Trim your shrubbery around your home to reduce cover for burglars.
Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 911 immediately.
Talk with your neighbors! Your neighbors can contact police should they notice anything suspicious while you are away.
Consider installing a burglar alarm system.
We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season!
Wilbraham Police Department (413) 596-3837
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