- When you leave the house, lock all doors and all windows. Make sure your garage is closed too. Often times, burglary is a crime of opportunity. If a criminal doesn't find an open window or door at your residence, he is likely to move onto the next home and try his luck there.
- If you don't have a monitored home alarm system, at least get an alarm sign for your front lawn. They can be purchased on ebay and are an excellent deterrent. Again, if a criminal sees this in your front lawn, they are likely to move onto a home without an alarm since it's much easier to break into without being caught.
- Along the same lines are exterior video cameras and mock cameras. Many residents are not able to afford an expensive video surveillance system. If you can afford to purchase one and install it, it will be an excellent deterrent. Not only does it prevent your home but it also protects property and people in range of the video cameras. This includes vandalism to vehicles on the street, theft from vehicles on the street. assaults on individuals, etc. If you cannot afford a video surveillance system, invest in mock surveillance cameras. They will not record anything, obviously, but serve as a great deterrent.
- Don't leave anything visible. This applies to your home and your vehicle. When it comes to your home, try to close as many blinds as possible when you're not there. If a burglar sees a large, gleaming flat screen television through the window, it makes your home that much more tempting. If he's not sure what he may find in there, he may not risk it and move on somewhere else.
- When it comes to your vehicle, never leave your belongings on the seats. If you have a purse, either put it under a seat, in the trunk or in a compartment not visible to the naked eye, or take it with you. The latter being the best choice. The worst place for a purse is the place it is most often left in by women everywhere, the front seat. If a criminal sees this, he's very likely to go for the smash and grab. Smash your window and grab your purse. This not only applies to your purse but your phone, backpack, sunglasses, computer and anything else you may have with you.
- Even radios and navigation systems should be put away. It may be a hassle but, when you turn your car off, park and exit the vehicle, you should put away anything that can be removed. If you have a radio with a removable face plate, remove it and put it in the center console or the glove compartment. Do the same with a navigation system. It may be a hassle but it will prevent you from spending hundreds on replacing these items and several hundreds on a deductible to replace a shattered window.
- When you go out for the day, leave at least one light on inside and one outside. Darkness makes it easy for an intruder to gain entry without being seen. Leaving a light on indoors gives the appearance that someone may be home. That's all a potential intruder needs to move onto a different target.
- Change your locks immediately if keys are lost or stolen. You never know who may have found your keys and/or they saw you drop them. This can lead them directly to an empty home with direct access inside if locks are not changed. Do not leave spare keys under mats or any other "hidden" areas either. Intruders know to look for this and they will.
- Trim your shrubbery. If you have overgrown bushes, trees or plants around entrances to your home (front door, side gate, garage, etc), all it does is help hide an intruder as he is trying to gain entry. Keep all shrubbery trim and away from doorways and gates.
- Be alert. This cannot be stressed enough. If you see any person or vehicle that does not appear should be in the neighborhood, don't be afraid to contact authorities. Often times, criminals case an area (check it out for periods of time to evaluate activity) prior to actually committing the crime. An alert neighborhood will steer them away from your area and onto another. ANY suspicious activity should be reported.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
10 Tips to Prevent You from Being the Next Victim of a Crime
All too often lately, I hear friends tell me that their car has been broken into or a neighbor has had an intruder in their home. Often times, this can be avoided with a proactive approach on security for yourself, your family, your property and your neighborhood. Below are 10 Tips to keep you from being the next victim of a property crime.