How to Safeguard your Residence Against Burglary
How to prevent burglaries….
WHAT CAN YOU, as a homeowner, to prevent burglars from being successful in their attacks on your property? You are the most important person in deterring crime. The burglar is lazy and wants to make it easy on himself. The burglar seeks out homes and apartments that appear to offer the least resistance. Don’t let your home be one of them.
Home or apartment protection….
DOORS: Always consider the strength of the door. Some doors are hollow and do not afford a substantial base for attaching a lock. The door should be of solid construction and properly installed. The door should not contain weak panels or glass which can be easily broken. Also, the framework to which the door is secured should also be of solid construction. Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors. All lockset strike plates should be installed with screws long enough to drive into the 2 x 4 wall construction, not just the door frame.
LIGHTING: A proven deterrent to burglar attacks at night is lighting. Strategically placed lights in hallways, basement areas, passageways, and garage areas can be useful. Burglars seek unlighted areas to affect their entry.
WINDOWS: Check all windows that may be entered by a burglar. Locks are available for all types of windows.
VIEWER: Install a glass magnifier in the door, if you wish to see who is outside a door without opening it.
Crimes of opportunity….
BASIC SECURITY precautions can significantly reduce burglary crimes. Burglary is a crime of opportunity. A door that is easy to open, a dark house, or an open window, are all opportunities for burglars. The more difficult it is to enter a home or apartment, the less attractive it is to a burglar.
- Cooperate with police.
- Lock all doors and windows.
- Stop all deliveries when going out of town.
- Play your radio or television when out of the home.
- Maintain a liaison with your neighbors when away for an extended time.
- Keep an inventory of all items of value and inscribe your driver’s license number on property with an engraving tool to make identification easy and prompt.
- Be aware of suspicious persons in your neighborhood and call the police.
- Don’t allow strangers into your home unless absolutely positive about their identification.
- Change locks or cylinders when moving into a previously occupied dwelling.
- Sliding doors or patio doors should be locked and lengths of metal or wood placed in both the top and bottom of the inside track to prevent sliding or lifting the door open.
- Do not use Mr., Miss or Mrs., or a first name on mailboxes. Use last name and if needed, first initial only.
- Do not advertise your habits, wealth or impending events such as vacations on public forums such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter.
- Secure your valuables. If a safe deposit box is not convenient, purchase a safe. Make sure any safe in the residence is secured properly so the burglar doesn’t walk off with it.
- Keep all shades and curtains closed at night. You don’t want to advertise your valuables to any prospective burglars walking around at night.
- If your residence is equipped with an alarm, ARM IT!
- During the winter months, make sure your sidewalk gets shoveled! Fresh snow with the absence of footprints screams, “No one is home!”
For more information contact the 19th District Community Policing Office at 312-744-0064 or CAPS019district@chicagopolice.org