Statistics are continually revealing the alarming increase in the incidence of burglary.
There are many times when we canât control the actions of other but there are time when by taking small measures we can protect our home and our family.Â The following lists represent some of the do's and donâts regarding burglary.
IF YOU LIVE IN A HOUSE
Make sure you keep your doors shut and locked at all times.
Install good solid doors that fit well into good solid doorjambs.
Make sure you install strong properly operating door locks on all exterior doors. It is best to have two door locks, the one that is on the door handle and a separate dead bolt.
Consult a local, reputable locksmith or a competent hardware man on all of your door lock needs.Â They may have suggestions that you havenât even though about doing.
Don't rely on just barrel bolt locks or door chains.
Don't be careless with your house keys.Â Never leave them with a stranger such as leaving them on your key chain when you leave your car at a repair shop.
Make sure you re-key all locks when you move into a new home.
Don't put your name and address on your keys.Â Add a tag with a phone number only.Â Preferrably use a work number instead of personal or home number.
Hide all valuables in âother than usualâ places.Â Consider the installation of a security safe or closet.Â Little used valuables and jewelry are best kept in a safe deposit box.Â A small safe can easily be picked up and carted off.
Hide credit card information and unused check books in a safe place.Â Do not store them in a desk as this is where the burglar will look for these items.
Don't let strangers in your home until you have thoroughly checked their credentials.Â Offer to make a call for someone who has an emergency but do not let them into your home.Â They just might be checking it out for a potential burglary.
Offer to make a call for someone who has an emergency but do not let them into your home.Â They just might be checking it out for a potential burglary.
Don't use Miss/Mrs./Ms., or a woman's first or middle name on mailboxes or listings.Â Use only initials with the last name.
Secure all house and garage windows.Â Lock them securely at all times.Â If they need to be opened for ventilation, make sure they are only opened a few inches by locking them from the inside.Â Make sure each room has a fire escape.
Make your home one that a burglar would not want to target just by looking at the outside.Â Use dogs, alarm company decals on windows or signs, and have good lighting on the outside of the house and the yard.Â Consider putting in a home security camera system.Â They have become very reasonable in cost and easy to install.
Never leave valuable tools, bicycles or other items laying around outside.Â This invites a burglar into your yard.
Never put boxes from new purchases such as televisions or other electronic equipment outside for the garbage collector.Â This is advertising for a burglar!Â Tear them down and bundle them so no one can tell what they are.Â
Trim shrubbery and lower fences to deprive a burglar of shelter to hide.
Get to know your neighbors and get them involved in anti-burglary measures such as a neighborhood watch program.
Make it a habit to lock all doors, windows, and vehicle doors at all times.
IF YOU LIVE IN AN APARTMENT
Your apartment is your home and you should expect and insist that it is as secure as possible.Â Take all of the precautions you would as if you lived in a house.
Make sure you re-key entry locks when move in or install your own locks.
Get to know your neighbors and exchange phone numbers in case of an emergency.
Make sure that hallways are well lighted all night, that any elevators have outside mirrors and that access to the roof and basement are only with the manager's key.
Avoid the laundry room and exercise center at night.
WHEN YOU ARE AWAY
Give your home a lived-in appearance.Â Use dogs, fake dog barking devices, lights and radios on timers and other devices that will make it appear like you are home.Â
Ask a friend or neighbor to remove any newspapers, flyers, or deliveries that might happen while you are away.Â Have them open your curtains and then shut them the next day a couple of times to make it seem like someone is home.Â
Cancel all deliveries such as mail, newspapers, andÂ milk.Â The post office will hold your mail until your come back home.Â Most of these cancellations can be done online of the websites of the providers.
Donât leave garbage cans out in the driveway.Â
Notify the neighbors and police that you will be away.
Transfer valuables to safe places and out of view of possible burglars.
Never announce on social networking sites that you are planning to be gone.
IF A BURGLAR IS IN YOUR HOME
Call the police at once if you are even suspicious that a burglar has entered your home.Â Don't call out, enter, or walk around the house.Â Leave and use your cell phone to make the call or go to the neighbors.
Call the police if a crime has been committed, no matter how much or how little has been taken.Â Even if nothing is gone, illegal entry is a crime and should be reported.
Avoid contact with a burglar.Â Get out if you can, as quietly and as quickly as possible.Â If not, remain as far away as possible.
Remain calm if confronted with a burglar.Â Cooperate with him while you leave his exits open and get a good look at him.Â Note unusual marking such as tattoo's or piercings.Â
Don't hesitate to fight hard in the event he might be one of those rare burglars who will harm you.Â Often screaming, pressing the car alarm button on your car keys, or grabbing a fire extinguisher will save your life.Â
RECOVERING STOLEN PROPERTY
Mark your possessions.Â All items of value should be marked for ready identification by law enforcement agencies.Â Commercial marking kits and systems are available at your local hardware store.Â Mark bicycles, tools, collector's items, electronic equipment, etc.
Itemize every valuable item in your home, noting the item, the make, the serial number (if it has one), and the original cost.Â Take pictures of your items.Â Make a list with a computer program that can be saved, such as Excel, and email yourself the list so you will have access to it whenever it might be needed.Â Print a physical list and file it in a safe place such as a safe deposit box.Â This list would also be useful in the event of a fire or other disaster for your insurance company.
Take the time to train your family about safety and make sure you regularly take all measures necessary to insure your safekeeping.Â