With the Holidays around the corner we were fortunate to receive these great home safety tips from the Orange County Sheriff's Department. We encourage you to read the tips and wish you and your family a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season.
For any crime to take place, three elements must exist. The criminals desire to commit the crime, the criminal's ability to commit the crime, and the criminal's opportunity to commit the crime. We call this the "crime triangle". The only element that we can control is the opportunity. We can control this opportunity through education as well as by taking precautionary measures. Below you will find some residential burglary safety tips. This is not meant to be all inclusive, but rather to assist you with securing your home.
1. Create the illusion that someone is at your house. Leave a TV or stereo on in a room where a burglar would most likely break in. Use exterior lighting and motion detectors to minimize burglar concealment. Make sure that alarm yard signs and window decals are prominently displayed on your property, as they are a good first line of defense to deter potential burglars.
2. Make sure all exterior doors have good proper locks. Install 1-inch deadbolt locks on all exterior doors. Also, consider an extended strike plate and using 3 inch screws vs. the traditional shorter screws for your strike plate.
3. If you get an unexpected knock at the door, check to see who it is before opening it. Remember to "answer the door, but not open the door" for strangers.
4. Don't leave extra keys under doormats, potted plants or any other obvious outdoor location. Thieves will generally find them. Find an inconspicuous place to hide the keys, or give a set to a neighbor you can trust.
5. Burglar-proof your glass patio doors by setting a pipe or metal bar in the middle bottom track of the door slide. The pipe should be the same length as the track. Optional home security equipment, such as a glass break sensor can also be used to detect when a glass door or window is shattered and alert you of a break-in. Also, there are several companies selling window security film which can be applied to glass windows and doors. If properly applied, they can significantly increase the time it takes a crook to gain entry. A quick YouTube search of window security film will show you the potential of this type of product.
6. Keep garage doors closed at all times. Even when you're home, it's important to safeguard your belongings and your family. By keeping garage doors closed, it prohibits intruders from gaining access to a door that leads directly into your home.
7. Be sure to set your alarm no matter how short or long you will be away from your residence.
8. Store cash, jewelry and other valuables in a safe or safety deposit box instead of leaving them lying around the home. Helping protect your investments and furnishing your home with a security system can help lower your risk of a home invasion or burglary. Be sure to inventory all of you valuables. The inventory should include a good description of the item (make/model), serial numbers if applicable, as well as photos.
9. Don't leave notes on the door for service people or family members when you're not there. These alert the burglar that you are not home.
10. Follow the 2 foot/ 6 foot rule. Shrubbery should be trimmed down lower than 2 feet, while tree canopies should be trimmed up higher than 6 feet. This will limit places of concealment around your residence.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, IF YOU "SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING".
DFC Menachem Green, FCPP Orange County Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention Unit Sector Three Office: 407-254-6805 firstname.lastname@example.org