Keeping our homes secure whether we are just gone for the day or headed out on an extended vacation is important.
Install a timer on your lamps. Have them go on and off in different rooms at different times.
Put your outside lights on a dusk sensor so they come on without you having to think about it.
Tip #9 is key. Let people know you are leaving so they can keep an eye out for suspcious activity.
In my neighborhood of Braemar in Prince William County, VA we've experienced a couple of break-ins recently. While no one was hurt and very little was taken, there is nothing like it to shake up the neighborhood and make you feel vulnerable.
Several of my neighbors and I got together and made a list of things we could all do to deter burglaries. Inevitably, as the economy trends down, we will all see in an increase in such actitivies. But here's how you can deter burglars from your home and neighborhood:
1. Keep your porch lights on all night. This deters would be criminals. They prefer to work in the cover of darkness.
2. Leave your lights on inside the house. Criminals are less likely to break-in if they think you are home.
3. Keep your garage door closed and interior doors locked. Even if you are only stepping outside to run next door to grab a cup of sugar from your neighbor, close and lock your doors behind you. And the same for your children. Teach them to close the garage doors when they are outside playing. Access panels mounted outside yoru garage that take a code are perfect for families with children.
4. Watch for strange vehicles in your neighborhood. If you notice someone out of place, introduce yourself and ask them if they are experiencing trouble. Calling attention to these people will deter them from your neighborhood.
5. Write down plate numbers and descriptions of out of place cars that seem to park with no one getting in or out...especially if you've never seen these cars in your neighborhood before. If they sit there too long, call the police if you'd rather not approach the vehicle and have them look into it. Remember, call the non-emergency numbers!
6. Watch out for your neighbors. If you know they are not home, keep an eye on their property.
7. Have someone collect your newspapers and mail when you are planning to be out of town. A build-up of these items are an invitation to burglaries, showing them you are not home.
8. Install a security system and USE IT. A large number of burglaries happen during the day, when someone is home. If you can't turn on your security system when you are home, look into a configuration that allows you to have a perimeter setting for home, that turns off motion sensors. Some security systems have chimes that sound when doors are opened, or talk as you move through motion sensors. These are great features to have when you are home! But use all the bells & whistles when you are away!
9. Share these tips with at least five neighbors, and ask them to pass it on.
These are tips we can all use to stay safe and deter crime. Make them habits. Detering crime is something we should all be doing, all the time. Don't wait until there is a break-in in your neighborhood.