TIP OF THE MONTH
Safety Tips to Discourage Burglars
The association makes every effort to maintain a safe environment in our community, but there
is only so much we’re authorized to do. Unfortunately, illegal entries into homes in our area—and
others—happen from time to time. Residents can do more to protect themselves and their property
than the association can do. Here are a few common-sense suggestions for reducing your chances of
being the target of burglary.
- Install double-cylinder, dead-bolt locks on your outside doors and include a reinforced
strike plate to strengthen the doorframe.
- Lock all doors and windows no matter how briefly you’ll be out of the house.
- Install bars or lock pins on sliding doors and windows. These are available at local
hardware or discount stores. Some mechanisms allow you to lock a sliding window or door in a
partially-open position so you can enjoy fresh air safely while you’re at home. However, if
you go out, close the window and lock it.
- That old trick of hiding a key somewhere outside your home is a bad idea. Burglars—or
anyone who may have seen you hiding the key—will know where to find it. Instead, give a key to
- “John, I’ve gone to pick up your sister. I’ll be home at 3:30.—Mom” This note also means,
“Burglar, this house will be unoccupied for 45 minutes. Help yourself.” Don’t ever leave notes
- If you’re going to be out of the house for a short time, leave a television or radio on to
create a sense of activity and presence.
- If you’re going to be away for a longer time, such as a vacation, take a few simple
precautions to keep your home from looking empty. Ask a neighbor to collect your mail and
keep the door and porch clear of delivery notices, newspapers and fliers. Pick up several
electric timers at the local discount store, and use them to turn lights, a television or radios
on and off at various times during the day and evening. Let your neighbors and the manager know
how to reach you in case there’s an emergency.
- Marking your valuable personal property won’t prevent it from being stolen, but it will
help you get it back if it is. Engrave your driver’s license number on items in a hidden area.
Check with the local fire department, police station or library to borrow an engraver. They’re
also available at large discount stores and are worth the investment if you have many items to
mark. Photographing the item (and the engraved marking, if possible) will make it easier to
retrieve your items from the police if they are recovered, and will aid in making an insurance
claim if they aren’t.
It doesn’t take much to discourage a burglar. He succeeds on opportunity, and if your home
doesn’t offer a good opportunity, he’ll move on to one that does.
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