Tips to help make your home more secure, and a bit about what the burglars don't like.
Most burglars are amateur criminals and that is why they look for easy targets. To most burglars, it is how easy it is to break in, not what is inside, that determines which building they rob. Once burglars realize homes are being locked and watched, they will move on to easier targets.
The first step in making your residence into a hard target for a breakin is making it look (and sound) occupied. Leave drapes and shades in the same position when at home and when away. If you normally have all of your drapes open and only close them when away, you may as well put a sign in your yard saying, "No one home, come on in!"
Automatic timers are an inexpensive way to make you appear home when you're away. You can get cheap timers that just plug into your electric sockets. Then all you have to do is plug your TV, lights, or radio into the times. It's that simple.
Never leave garage doors open especially with no car in sight. Shut garage door even when only going on short trips and keep easily stolen items like power mowers, bicycles and lawn chairs out of sight and locked up.
Install good locks...and lock them. The best lock in the world is worthless if it isn't locked. Always lock up -- even if you're only away for minutes. Houses have been cleaned out while the owner was mowing the lawn or visiting with the neighbor. Remember, a lock is not a lock unless you lock it.
Don't be generous in passing out extra keys. One might end up in the hands of someone that you don't trust. Don't leave an "emergency" key under the door mat, on top of the door frame, or in any other "hiding spot" so well-known to burglars.
Don't advertise your vacation plans. Try to keep your home looking "lived in" while you're away, even if it's only for a weekend. Ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your place and to pick up papers and mail. And don't have any publicity about your trip until you're back. If you're going to be away for some time, make sure to get your lawn mowed and let your Kendall Watch block commander know so they can have trusted members keep an extra good eye on your home.
Inventory all your belongings, and mark them if they don't have a serial number. With a list to go by, it is a lot easier to tell exactly what is missing. It is also easier to get stolen items back if you have the serial numbers. It also helps law enforcement trace stolen goods. Generally, unless you have marked your gear, or it has a serial number and you know it, you can't "prove" it's yours, even if it is recovered.
Written by coordinator35 - 2003-09-19