Safety Tips
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How does a burglar get into your home?

#1 - through the front door.
#4 - through the garage.
#5 - through unlocked entrances and storage areas.
#6 - through the basement.
#7 - through the second floor windows.

Other burglary facts...

•        Many burglars will spend no longer than 60 seconds trying to break into a home.
•        The more a burglar has to work, the less chance you have of becoming a victim.
•        A burglar will bypass your home if it requires too much effort or requires more skill
and  tools than they have.
cover, and with the best escape routes.
•        A burglar is less likely to attempt to enter a well-lit residence.
•        Most burglars enter homes through an open or unlocked window or door.
•        One out of every four burglaries involve forced entry.
•        The most common way used to force entry through a door with a wooden frame is
to kick it open.
•        The majority of home burglaries occur during the daytime when people are away at
work or at school.
•        Most home burglars are looking for things that are small, expensive, and can be
converted to cash (jewelry, guns, watches, small antiques, laptop computers).

Secure your front door or entrance.

•        All doors should be hung with hinges on the inside.
•        Replace hollow core outer doors with solid wood or metal doors.
•        Install deadbolt locks that have at least a one inch throw bolt.
•        Insure that there is at least forty inches between adjoining windows and door. If you
have windows on or near your doors, install a double cylinder deadbolt that requires a
key to open from the outside and the inside.
•        Install a wide-angle security peephole in your door and use it to screen visitors before
opening the door.
•        Install an ornamental iron screen door (available at most home improvement stores)
that opens out rather than in.
•        Maintain good lighting, especially at front entrances.
•        Remove bushes or other items that obstruct view of windows or doors.
•        Never hide your keys outside. Give an extra key to a friend or family member instead.
•        Never put an identification tag on your key ring.
•        Re-key locks when you move into a new house or apartment.

Secure your windows.

•        Ensure that all windows have working locks.
•        Use window pins, track fillers or a wood pole to prevent windows from opening more
than four inches.
•        Cut back tree limbs that could use to climb to an upper-level window
•        Store ladders or other objects that would allow a burglar to reach your roof or second
story windows.
•        Secure basement windows with grilles, grates or glass block.
•        Secure roof openings, air conditioners and exhaust systems.
•        Window air conditioning units should be bolted to the wall to prevent them from
being easily removed from the outside.
•        Consider installing window grates or grilles (but make sure the devices can be easily
detached to allow quick escape during a fire or other emergency).
•        Consider laminated, tempered, wired or plastic windows.

Secure your back entrances and yard.

•        Secure back doors and entrances in the same manner as front entrances.
•        For sliding glass door use window pins, track fillers or a wood pole to prevent the door
from being forced open. Use locking devices that secure the doors to the frame or
•        Adjusting the sliding door's track clearances so they can't be pushed or lifted out of
their tracks.
•        Consider removing or replacing a privacy fence that may provide cover for a burglar.
•        A barking dog is a proven deterrent to burglars.
•        Add sufficient lighting to the back and sides of your home.
•        Install a hedge around the perimeter of your yard.  Hedges should be wide, rather
than high, and of a prickly, thorny variety.

Secure garages and out buildings.

•        Padlock garages and out buildings when not in use..
•        Make sure to keep your garage door closed, even if you're only going to be away for
a few minutes.
•        Put away items like sports equipment, lawn mowers, portable grills and bicycles.

Provide adequate lighting.

•        Use outdoor lighting to diminish places to hide.
•        Use indoor lighting to give the impression that a home is occupied.
•        Keep any entryways well lit.
•        Use motion detecting flood lights aimed into the yard and other approach paths.
•        Place lights out of reach so that the bulbs can't be removed broken.
•        Use timers on indoor lights near the front and back windows with the curtains drawn.
•        Exterior lights left on all day is a giveaway that you are out of town. Use timers or
photo-cells on external lights to turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn.

Use good locks.

•        Use high quality locks that resist twisting, prying, and lock-picking attempts.
•        A quality deadbolt lock will have a beveled casing to resist  channel-lock pliers used for
forced entry.
•        A quality door knob lock set will have a dead-latch mechanism to prevent slipping the
lock with a shim or credit card.
•        Use a quality, heavy-duty, deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw bolt.
•        Use a heavy-duty, four-screw, strike plate with 3-inch screws to penetrate into a
wooden door frame and stud.

When your house is unoccupied.

•        Ask a neighbor or friend to watch your home when you're away.
•        Ask a neighbor or friend to pickup your paper,  handbills, mail, mow your lawn or bring
in your trash receptacle while you're away.
•        Put a hold on your mail and deliveries while on vacation.
•        Leave shades, blinds, and curtains in normal positions.
•        Never leave an "I'm away!" message on your answering machine or front door.

General home security tips.

•        Make a list of your valuables - VCRs, stereos, computers, jewelry. Take photos of the  
items, list their serial numbers and description.
•        Engrave your valuables.
•        Don't leave keys in you car.
•        Don't dispose of new appliance boxes in public.
•        Place highly visible decals on the glass door near the latch mechanism that indicates
that an alarm system, a dog, or block watch/operation identification is in place.
•        Get to know all your adjacent neighbors and agree to watch out for each other's
•        Use light timers to turn on radios or television sets to enhance the illusion of
•        Consider a home safe to protect the jewelry, small collections, handguns, important
documents, medications, and irreplaceable family heirlooms and pictures.
•        Make sure that your address is clearly visible from the street during the day and night.
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