Here are some common sense tips to protect your safety and help make you less likely to be victimized.
- Check to see who is at the front door before opening it to strangers. Require identification from all repair and delivery personnel. If in doubt, check the authenticity of the identification by calling the company before letting the person into your home. Check I.D. through a peephole viewer, if you have one. A wide angle viewer is easy to install and inexpensive.
- All exterior doors should be locked at all times.
- Exterior doors should be strong enough to withstand excessive force.
- All exterior doors should be secured with a deadbolt lock.
- All exterior doors should fit snugly against the frame and all frames should be free of warping, cracks, and other signs of wear and tear.
- Windows should be secured with pins or extra locks to discourage prying. They should be locked whenever possible, but particularly at night.
- Trees and shrubs should be trimmed to allow visibility along the perimeter of the house.
- Timers (both interior and exterior) should be installed to activate lights in your absence.
- If you have an alarm system, make sure it is armed when you leave the house. If your system has the capability, arm the perimeter when you are home.
- All entrances (doors and windows) to your home should be well lit at night.
- Your address should be posted on your house and be clearly visible from the street both night and day.
- Motion sensor lighting should be specifically directed and focused on entry points and vulnerable areas.
- Garage doors should be fitted with an interior locking device, blocking the track, as well as an outside locking device.
- Windows in the garage door or garage walls should not allow viewing of the interior to prevent people from looking in to see if your car is gone, indicating no one may be at home.
- The garage door should be kept down and locked at all times.
- Report suspicious persons or activity in the neighborhood to the police immediately.
- Keep a list on your refrigerator of important contact names and phone numbers including your own cell phone number. If emergency personnel need to enter your home and make contact with someone, this will save valuable time.
In Your Car
Vehicles can be stolen for a number of reasons, including 'joyriding,' to commit other crimes or to be broken up for parts and sold. Theft from vehicles involves the theft of property such as wheels, stereos and personal items - bags, briefcases, laptop computers, wallets, money, etc. Thieves gain entry to vehicles primarily by forcing locks or smashing windows. There are a number of things you can do to reduce the opportunity of having your vehicle stolen or burglarized:
- Keep your vehicle keys with you. Keep spares keys at home or work.
- Don't hide a spare key on the car - thieves will sometimes look for it.
- Always lock your car.
- If you garage your vehicle at home, ensure the garage and car are both locked.
- Don't leave things in the interior where they may be on display.
- Keep valuables with you or at home - not in the glove box or under a seat.
- Keep garage door openers out of sight and glove compartments locked. Thieves may take the garage door opener and get your address from vehicle paperwork and have access to your home.
- When stopped in traffic, keep enough room in front of you so you can escape if necessary.
- If someone approaches your vehicle and attempts to gain entry, blow your horn and drive away immediately.
- When leaving a building or home make sure someone knows where you are going.
- Always have your keys in hand and ready.
- If possible leave with someone or walk with someone.
- ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings.
- Look around, if you see something or someone suspicious, go back inside and call the police.
- Look under your car as you approach, make sure no one is hiding underneath.
- When you arrive at your car, look inside, in the back seat and front and rear floor.
- Park in a well-lit area when at all possible.