WATER-OAK Crimestoppers

WATER-OAK Crime Stoppers

Watertown & Oakville, Connecticut

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Safety Tips - 
Protect Your Home from Burglars!

Years ago crime was closely associated with city living. But no more. Today crime is infiltrating the safest of neighborhoods. And no home should be considered immune. Prevention is the key to not becoming a victim of crime. The Water-Oak Crime Stoppers is concerned about the safety and security of your home and possessions. Though we can't fully guarantee that your house will never be burglarized, following the suggestions outlined in this article can substantially reduce the risk of a break in.

Think like a burglar

Think like a burglar when evaluating your home. Walk around the outside of your home looking for easy ways to get in. How can you make these areas entry-proof? A burglar's biggest opponents are time, noise and light. Increase these elements around your home and it becomes a less attractive target for the neighborhood prowler.

Landscaping

Landscaping is a key feature to keeping your house burglar resistant. Everyone likes privacy, but landscaping that provides you privacy does the same for a working burglar. Keep shrubs and bushes trimmed away from windows. Also trim them at least two feet from the ground so a burglar can't hide himself or stolen property behind them. Also consider these points when putting a fence around the yard. It's often wise to trade a little privacy for more security.

Burglars donít enjoy being in the spotlight.

Exterior lights are perhaps the most effective deterrent for a would-be burglar. Lights alone, however, will not keep burglars away. To be truly effective, exterior lights need to shine on entry points and be mounted where the thief can't easily reach. If not, the intruder can quickly disengage the bulb and work in the comfort of the dark.

Slowing down entry could keep a burglar out.

Burglars don't like hanging around for extended lengths of time. The more time it takes to break into your home, the less desirable it becomes to an intruder. Everyday items such as nails, screws, padlocks, door and window locks, grates, bars and bolts can make for a difficult entry.

Windows

Ground level windows are easy targets for burglars. Consider iron grates or grilles to keep intruders away. Install locks on all your windows. And keep them locked. A simple and economical way of securing a double hung window is with a nail or pin. Drill a hole where the bottom and top frame meet. Then insert a pin or nail. If you need to keep the windows open for air, make the opening small enough so the average adult can't climb through. Another hole can be drilled in this "open position" and, again, the window can be secured with a pin or nail. If your budget permits, key locks also work well and are readily available for all types of windows.

Doors

There are many door locks on the market today. Obviously, you want one that's hard to pick. Experts recommend the pin cylinder lock. And, better yet, a deadbolt. Most dead bolts are opened from the, out side with a key and a thumb turn on the inside. If your door is flanked by glass panels, a determined prowler can easily break the glass to access the thumb turn. If area fire regulations permit, it's best to purchase deadbolts that require a key on either side. Ask your hardware dealer or locksmith for the name of a reputable brand.

Sliding glass patio doors should be equipped with a slide bolt lock. For added protection, also place a wooden pole or a patio door bar in the door track. If your door swings out, the hinges are on the outside and accessible to the thief. Make sure the hinge pins are secure.

Alarms

No matter what type of home you live in. there's an alarm system to fit your needs. Detectors mounted on windows and doors can make robbing your house a noisy chore. Deciding just how much protection you need and can afford takes careful consideration. Many local police departments will inspect your house free of charge and give you security tips on everything from locks to alarm systems. Most alarm systems also provide decals to place on your windows warning thieves that you're protected. These are a good idea even if you don't have an alarm system.

Man's best friend

With today's sophisticated security technology, one could quickly forget the age-old security system of having a dog in the house. Recently when a number of inmates serving time for burglary were interviewed, most said they would own a dog to protect their own homes from intrusion.

Donít give a burglar reason to enter

Arrange your valuable household items away from where they can easily be seen from outside. Place the TV, stereo, antique vase or original oil painting away from windows. Conceal valuables inside as well. Take jewelry out of the dresser drawers and hide it away when not in use. Bedrooms are usually the first place a burglar checks.

Give your house the lived-in look when you're away. Be sure not to advertise to intruders that your house is empty. The following are some sound tips:

  • Have the post office hold your mail or ask a neighbor to take it in

  • Arrange to have your lawn mowed or your driveway shoveled

  • Leave a radio on

  • Lower the sound of your telephone ring so it can't be heard outside

  • Stop delivery of the newspaper

  • Use automatic timers to turn on lights and television

  • Let police know you'll be away

Finally, join forces with your neighbors and keep a watch on each other's property. The more watchful eyes, the better.

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