Apr 02, 2015
The odds are high that you or someone near you will be touched by crime this year. Yet caution and common sense can decrease your chances of being a crime victim. Here are some crime prevention tips to keep in mind:
Change some Habits
Be on the Lookout for Burglars
1. Lock all doors and windows, especially when leaving the house, even for short periods.
2. Don't leave your house key under a doormat or over a door.
3. Leave a few lights on when you go out in the evening. A bathroom light is the most baffling to a burglar.
4. Never have your name or address on your key ring. Be careful with whom you leave your auto key ring and don't leave your auto and house key on the same ring.
5. Don't provide information on your phone answering machine that could be helpful for a burglar. Don't give your name and don't say that you're not home. Instead, leave a message like, "I'm sorry, I can't answer the phone right now; please leave your message at the tone."
6. If you have large bushes next to your house, trim them to minimize places to hide.
7. Put important documents and valuables in a safe deposit box. That way, if the worst happens and you are burglarized, at least your most treasured possessions will be spared.
8. Don't leave ladders in the yard--they can be used as easy access to upper windows.
9. Check the references of anyone you employ for work around your home.
10. Be wary of "wrong address" visitors or "wrong number" phone calls. A professional burglar may be studying your house.
11. Be a good neighbor. If your see something or someone suspicious in the neighborhood, ask the police to check it out. Know your neighbors and watch each other's property.
When on Vacation
Give your Home an Occupied Look
1. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house, collect your newspapers and mail, and pickup throw away circulars. You may prefer to suspend newspaper and mail deliveries, but in some areas this is a tip-off to your absence. Ask your local police for advice.
2. Depending on the season, make arrangements to have your lawn mowed or your sidewalk shoveled.
3. Invest in an automatic timer to turn lights and radios on and off.
4. Remove jewelry and other valuables from the premises, and store in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box at a bank.
5. Notify your local law enforcement agency that you plan to be away. They will schedule periodic checks of your home.
Take the Extra Step
1. Equip doors with dead-bolt or double-cylinder locks. The popular spring-latch lock is easily opened
2. Exterior doors, including the door between attached garage and house, should be solid wood or metal.
3. If you have a sliding glass door, insert a steel rod or wood dowel in the door channel. For a further step, secure the door with key-operated pins or grips.
4. Double-hung windows can be inexpensively secured by drilling holes and inserting nails, which can be removed for use. Extra security for windows can be provided with key locks, but these could make it difficult to escape in the event of a fire.
5. Install lights or floodlights over doorways and garage.
6. Anchor ground floor window air conditioners to the window frame to prevent their being pushed in.
7. Protect basement windows by placing bars over the windows preferable on the inside or replacing the glass with burglary-resisting glazing.
8. Consider investing in an alarm. The least expensive type scares off the burglar with a loud noise, and wakes the household and usually close neighbors. For your personal safety, let the burglar go. Then quickly call the police.
For more information on home safety and burglary prevention, please call us or contact us using our contact form.
scott [at] plappinsurance [dot] com
Forest Park office7310 Madison St