Burglary Prevention


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Protecting Your Home:
Locks, Lights and Good Neighbors

One of the crimes most frequently reported to the police is residential burglary. It's also the most preventable. It doesn't take much or cost much to out-smart most burglars. They're usually not professionals, but rather people taking advantage of an easy target. Burglars may do more than steal things. If they're surprised by someone coming home or if they choose a home that's occupied, someone may get hurt.

Tips on Safeguarding Your Home

  • Make sure all exterior doors have good locks-at least dead-bolt locks with a 1" throw.
  • Always lock up when you go out, even if only for a few minutes.
  • Secure sliding glass doors with bars or locks, or put a broom handle in the door track.
  • Make sure your windows have good locks, especially those at ground level.
  • Make sure all porches, entrances, and outside areas are well lit.
  • Trim any bushes or trees that hide doors or windows.
  • Maintain your yard and keep ladders and tools inside when you're not using them.
  • Don't hide your keys under the doormat or in a flowerpot. That's the first place burglars look! It's much better to give an extra key to a trusted neighbor.
  • Mark your valuable property like TVs, VCRs, computers, cameras and stereos with your driver's license number.
  • Keep a record of your property in a safe place.
  • Install an alarm system for summoning emergency help.
  • If you park your car outside, never leave a garage door opener in the car.


When you go away

  • Ask a neighbor to collect your mail and newspapers, and offer to return the favor.
  • Put an automatic timer on at least two lights and a radio. Consider photoelectric sensors to turn outside lights on and off automatically.
  • Tell a trusted neighbor when you're leaving and when you'll return. Include an itinerary and phone numbers where you can be reached in an emergency.


Neighbors Helping Neighbors
There's more to crime prevention than locks and lighting. The fact is, concerned neighbors who watch out for each other are the front-line defenses against crime.

  • Get to know your neighbors and discuss your concerns about the neighborhood.
  • Be alert to things that invite crime like poor street lighting, boarded-up buildings, a lack of recreational activities or jobs for teens, vacant lots littered with debris and inadequate day-care and after-school programs. Work with law enforcement, civic groups, schools, churches and service clubs to solve the problems.
  • Alert law enforcement to suspicious activities and any crimes.
  • Report nonworking street lights, abandoned houses and other problems.
  • Join a Neighborhood Watch group. If there's no Watch organization in your neighborhood, start one with help from local law enforcement and community groups.


Joining a Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch, Block Watch, Town Watch, Crime Watch-whatever the name, it's one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear. Neighborhood Watch fights the isolation that crime both creates and feeds upon. It forges bonds among area residents, helps reduce burglaries and robberies, and improves relations between police and the communities they serve.

A few concerned residents, a community organization or a law enforcement agency can spearhead the effort to organize a Watch. Members learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for each other and the neighborhood, and report activities that raise their suspicions to the police or sheriff's office.

Watch groups are not vigilantes. They are extra eyes and ears for reporting crime and helping neighbors. Neighborhood Watch helps build pride and serves as a springboard for efforts that address community concerns such as recreation for youth, child care, and affordable housing.

Moving Thoughts

Whether moving takes you across town or across country, it can be a very busy time. The stresses of the move itself are usually compounded by worries of what life will be like in your new home or town; but, it can also be an exciting time of renewed opportunities and fresh experiences! Statistics show that each year one out of every five families moves. They survive the upheaval-and so can you!

Organization-not only physically, but mentally-is important to maintain. A good way to start is by sorting through your "stuff." Pare down your belongings by having a garage sale or by donating items you no longer need to charity. Then decide whether to move yourself or hire professionals. Each method has pros and cons, and both require comparison shopping.

The Trivia Block

On average, dwellings in Japan have about 989 square feet of floor space per household.