The most important thing you can do is call the police to report a crime or any suspicious activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes! Please also refer to the Burglary Prevention Flyer (PDF).
General Prevention Tips
- Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
- Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
- Do not allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers to build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to collect them regularly.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Leave lights on when you are not home. 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.
- 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.
- Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.
- Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.
- 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.
Do Not Tempt a Thief
- Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
- Lawn mowers, barbecues and bicycles are best stored out of sight.
- Never leave notes on your door such as “Gone shopping.”
- Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
- Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
- 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.
- 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.
- Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.
- Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
- Drill a 3/16" hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and halfway into the outside frame - place a nail in the hole to secure the window.
- Most windows can be pinned for security.
- An alarm system is excellent for 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.
- If you have a home alarm system, use it! Activate your alarm system; alarm systems are only useful when you remember to activate them.
- Many individuals have alarm systems but do not arm them because it is inconvenient. Many burglars know this and will not be deterred by a window sticker or sign indicating that the home has an alarm system.
If Your Home Is Burglarized
- Do not enter - the perpetrator may still be inside.
- Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
- If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:
- Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.
- Use a neighbor's phone to call police.
- Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
- Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 911 immediately.
- Consider installing a burglar alarm system.
- Form a Neighborhood Watch Group. We can help you work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.
- 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.
- Mark your valuables with your driver's license number with an engraver. Marked items are more difficult for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
- Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other “secret” hiding places - burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
- Trim the shrubbery around your home to reduce cover for burglars.
Car Burglaries Tips
- Do not leave doors unlocked.
- Do not leave the garage door opener in plain view.
- Do not leave keys in the vehicle.
- Do not leave out items with personal information.
- Do not move valuable items to the trunk while in public view.
- Do not leave valuables in plain view (GPS devices, laptops, cell phones, wallets, etc.)
- Do not leave windows or sunroof open.