How to Protect Your Home
To frustrate a burglar, reduce or remove his opportunities, simple, practical crime prevention techniques, when implemented, are demonstrating overwhelming success at deterring the youthful burglar.
Inspect all points of entry into your home:
- All outside doors should be solid core in construction, or metal clad. Hollow core doors are easily kicked or battered in.
- All door frames should be solid in construction and firmly attached to the house structure.
- If any doors have hinges on the outside, they should be replaced with non-removable hinges (available commercially).
- All outside doors should have securely mounted deadbolts or rim-locks. A deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw is difficult to pry or jimmy. An intruder can break any glass within 40 inches of the lock, reach in and turn the lock. A double cylinder deadbolt will prevent this. If local laws prohibit double cylinder locks, non-breakable glass should be installed within 40 inches of the lock.
- A wide-angle lens peephole is easy to install and will allow you to see visitors without opening the door. Never rely on a chain lock as a security device!
- Sliding glass doors need special attention:
- Prevent both panels from being lifted up and out of the tracks. Secure the stationary panel with a screw from the inside into the door and frame. The top track should have small screws protruding down so the door barely clears them.
- When locked, wedge the sliding door with a swinging metal rod (a “Charlie Bar”) to prevent entry even if the lock is picked or broken. A less desirable option is to wedge a wooden rod (a broom stick, for example) into the bottom track.
- Double-hung windows (the most common type) are easy to jimmy open. To prevent entry, drill a downward sloping hole through the top of the bottom sash and into (but not through) the bottom of the top sash. Insert a pin or nail in this hole to prevent the opening of either sash.
- Secure sliding windows in the same manner as sliding doors.Casement windows usually have secure latches. Make sure that your latches are strong and tight fitting. Locks are available for this type of latch to provide additional security.
- Jalousie and awning type windows are not very secure because individual panes are easy to pry or remove. You may want to install metal grating on the inside of the windows, or consider replacing them entirely with a more secure type.
- Remember. – A primary consideration is easy exit from all points of entry into your home.
If you are considering an alarm system, carefully select the installer to assure that you get adequate protection, but not a system far more costly than you need.
Remember these points:
- Get written cost estimates, compare companies and check their reputations.
- An effective alarm system should protect all points of entry into your home.
- Price is no guarantee of quality. Your local police or sheriff’s department may be able to help you determine the best system for your needs.
Outside the Home
- Now that you’ve protected your home, look around the outside. Remember, the burglar is looking for easy opportunity. Protect your protection.
- Trim all trees, bushes and shrubs that offer concealment.
- Install outside lighting to eliminate dark areas around doors or windows.
- Before an extended absence, ask someone to watch your home, collect the mail and papers, and cut the lawn. This will give your home a “lived-in” look.
Is Your Home Safe? Once you have followed these recommendations, you should feel reasonably secure. No homes are burglar-proof, but you have reduced the opportunity.
Your investment of time, energy and resources was well worth it. Every five seconds someone wishes he had practiced crime prevention.
Your Home: As Safe As You Think? Traditionally, most of us have regarded our home as a castle, a refuge and a place safe from the intrusions of crime in the streets. But your home may not be as safe as you think. Residential burglary is a real and present danger. You may not recognize the typical burglar. He’s often one of the neighborhood kids, a young male who usually lives within a mile or two of his targets, but not always. He is usually an opportunist and an amateur but that doesn’t mean he can’t find his way into your home.
He selects homes he can enter quickly and quietly, and exit with a minimum risk of detection. And he can find those homes easily:
- In a recent year more than 6.5 million burglaries are estimated to have occurred. This is the equivalent of one out of every 12 households.
- 720 burglaries occurred every hour – one every five seconds.
- One recent national study disclosed that reported losses amount to over 1.5 billion dollars a year – an average of $526 per burglary.
Reported burglaries increased by 43% during a recent eight-year span. The trend is the same in big cities, suburbs and rural areas – sharply up. From all indications, the problem will continue unless you take action. You can be the single most important deterrent to residential burglary.
How to Protect Your Car
Every 33 seconds a car is stolen.
More than a million cars are stolen each year.
40% have keys in the ignition.
Most are stolen by young opportunists.
Even the most careful driver can be faced with an emergency situation. Use your common sense and these tips to help protect yourself from danger:
If your car should break down and you’re not near enough to one of your safe spots, follow these steps:
- Get off the roadway, out of the path of oncoming traffic, even if you have to drive on a flat tire. The tire is replaceable.
- Turn on your emergency flashers. If you have emergency roadway flares in your trunk, position them conspicuously.
- Raise the hood and tie a handkerchief to the aerial or door handle.
- If a roadside telephone or call-box is handy, use it. If not, sit in your locked car and wait for help.
- If a motorist stops to render assistance, it’s better to remain in the car, and ask him to get help. (Likewise, if you see a stranded motorist, it’s better not to stop. Notify the police.) If you think you are being followed, don’t drive home. You would only, be telling your follower where you live.
- Stay calm. As long as you think clearly, you’ll be in control of the situation.
- Drive to one of your already identified safe spots, sounding your horn and flashing your lights. Do not leave this safe location until you’re sure your follower is gone.
Remember, you are your best protection. If you follow these steps, you’ll be protecting the most important part of your car – YOU. Protecting yourself common sense will generally steer you clear of the very infrequent dangerous situation:
- Always lock your car doors while driving, and roll windows up far enough to keep anyone from reaching inside.
- At stop signs and lights keep the car in gear and stay alert.
- Travel well-lighted, busy streets. You can spare those extra minutes it may take to avoid an unsafe area.
- Keep your purse and other valuables out of sight, even when you are driving in your locked car.
- Park in safe, well-lighted areas near your destination.
- Always lock your car, even for a short absence. And before unlocking your car, quickly check to make sure no one is hiding on your seats or floors, front and back.
- Never pick up a hitchhiker. Even the most harmless-looking stranger can be dangerous. Don’t find out.
- When you arrive home, leave your headlights on until you have the car in the garage and the house door unlocked. If you can have a remote control garage door opener installed, it will allow you to remain in your locked car until you’re inside your locked garage.
- Check the daily routes you travel and pick out safe spots – 24 hour gas stations, convenience stores, and police and fire stations. If trouble should arise, drive straight to one of these locations.
Protecting Your Car To keep your car from becoming a statistic:
- Always lock all doors.
- Roll windows up tight.
- Install tapered interior door lock buttons.
- Park in heavily traveled areas, always locked.
- Engrave an identifying number on a hidden place on the car and on any valuable components to help police identify recovered property.
- Don’t leave any valuables in sight.
- Don’t hide spare keys – they can be found.
- Don’t think it can’t happen to you – act before, not after the crime.
While you’ve been reading this article, ten cars were stolen. They were stolen because the opportunity was there. If you have taken these protective measures, you may deter the theft of your car. The thief won’t have to look far for an easier target.
How to Protect Your Neighborhood
Get to know your neighbors
and become familiar
with their routines.
You’re going to be partners in watching the activities
on your block.
What to Do
Be suspicious. Report unusual or suspicious behavior to the police. Write down descriptions of the person(s) and license numbers of any vehicles involved.
Above all, be concerned. It’s the most effective way to reduce or prevent crime and make your neighborhood safe.
Establish a meeting time and place convenient to all.
Exchange names, home and work telephone numbers among the participants. A hand drawn street map might also be useful.
Draw a diagram appropriate for your neighborhood. Each neighboring house depicted should contain the house number, occupant names, and home and work telephone numbers. The emergency number of your police or sheriff’s department should be placed prominently on the diagram.
Once your neighborhood watch network is established, everyone should observe these guidelines:
Keep a trusted neighbor informed if your house will be unoccupied for an extended period. It’s important to leave him a way of reaching you if an emergency should arise.
Look after your neighbor’s house when he is away, and ask him to look after yours. This includes collecting mail, newspapers and other deliveries which would indicate at a glance that no one is home.
Establish and attend regular neighborhood meetings with your local crime prevention officer. Find out about local crime trends and what you can do about them. There is a great deal of important crime prevention information available. Become involved, and share information with your neighbors. You can be safe from crime but only if you care enough to help one another.
Reasearch from the Fraternal Order of Police
In multiple studies and interviews conducted among convicted sexual assault, robbery and burglary felons they were asked what security measures taken by homeowners were most effective at deterring their criminal intentions. Consistently at the top of the list were security dogs.
When asked why, criminals listed these reasons:
Canine hearing abilities pick-up suspicious sounds earlier than alarm systems.
Canine barking alerts homeowners and neighbors too quickly.
Criminals fear of being attacked by a dog.
Criminals know confronting a dog is much more hazardous than dealing with an alarm system.
Dogs don’t hesitate and they are not intimidated by the criminal.
Get a dog. Houses with dogs don’t get robbed. Dogs are loud, hard to spot, and bite. Doesn’t have to be an attack dog – just a barking dog. Thieves would rather save the hassle and hit the next house.
WATCHDOGS …[are] mobile, four-footed burglar alarm[s]. [They] bark insistently and steadily when an entry is attempted, and … [go] to the entry point to pinpoint it for you as … [they] yap.
PROTECTION DOGS are animals with advanced obedience training. On your command, they will bark and lunge at an aggressor, snapping at him without actually biting him. Also upon your command, they will immediately sit or lie and fall silent. Their training is oriented strictly toward a deterrent show of force; if your attacker persists, the animal will have to fall back on its natural protective instinct and bite him. A properly trained protection dog will also perform all the functions of a watchdog.
ATTACK DOGS have been trained to sink their teeth into people on their master’s command, or when they observe their master under assault. Once resistance from the suspect ceases, a true attack dog will let go of him. It will do the same on command, no matter how excitement-charged the atmosphere, if it has been properly trained and selected. Normally, the dog will only bite if given the proper command, or if the animal sees its owner or a family member under attack.
The attack dog is at the maximum level of obedience training. After the master has ordered it to put a suspect on point, the dog can be called back, and even ordered to “make friends.” It feels no personal animosity toward the person it is ordered to attack; it is a canine technician, doing a job on the orders of its human boss.
GUARD DOGS represent the deadliest level of canine training. These animals either walk with a sentry, or patrol alone in an enclosed space. Their function is to apprehend and neutralize any human intruder. They do not stop biting when the suspect stops resisting; they stop only when the human stops MOVING. They are likely to be trained to go for the throat or genitals. Guard dogs are trained to kill and maim. A guard dog is so vicious that it will usually obey only a single handler. … The only legitimate use of a guard dog is in wartime, or when guarding an area so sensitive that human intrusion could result in awesome public danger, such as a nuclear weapons facility.
To help with neighborhood and car security, you might need more than a watchdog. Statistics show that inside dog provides very effective security. There are news stories all the time about inside dogs that save their families from fires, intruders, and even gas leaks. A robber will think twice about breaking into your home if he hears and sees a dog on the other side of the door. A robber will not think twice about breaking into your home if there is a chained dog in the backyard barking. He knows that chained dog cannot hurt him.
The REAL Home Invasion MATH
- An intruder reaches their victim in 4 to 7 sec after entering the residence.