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Crime Prevention - Home Security

Crime Prevention Tips

Automobile Theft Prevention • Home Security • Protecting Your PrivacyIdentity Theft

The department maintains a crime prevention program for all faculty, staff and students. A crime prevention officer is available to provide class presentations on various crime-related issues such as date rape, domestic violence and personal safety. Crime prevention brochures are available at the Police Department and in 12 information kiosks throughout the campus.

Home Security:

Check the LocksCheck the DoorsCheck the OutsideConsider an AlarmBurglars do More than StealMore You Can Do

These tips are from the pamphlet “Home Security, Invest In It Now,” that is distributed by the National Crime Prevention Council, 1700 K Street, NW, Second Floor, Washington, DC 20006-3817. See www.WePrevent.org, the Bureau of Justice Assistance Office of Justice Programs U.S. Department of Justice and ADT Security Services.

Check the Locks

  • Make sure every external door has a sturdy, well-installed dead bolt lock. Key-in-the-knob locks alone are not enough.
  • Sliding glass doors can offer easy access if they are not properly secured. You can secure them by installing commercially available locks or putting a broomstick or dowel in the track to jam the door. To prevent the door being lifted off the track, drill a hole through the sliding door frame and the fixed frame. Then insert a pin in the hole.
  • Lock double-hung windows with key locks or “pin” windows by drilling a small hole into a 45 degree angle between the inner and outer frames, then insert a nail that can be removed. Secure basement windows with grilles or grates.
  • Instead of hiding keys around the outside of your home, give an extra key to a neighbor you trust.
  • When you move into a new house or apartment, rekey the locks.

Check the Doors

  • All outside doors should be metal or solid wood.
  • If your doors don’t fit tightly in their frames, install weather stripping around them.
  • Install a peephole or wide-angle viewer in all entry doors so you can see who is outside without opening the door. Door chains break easily and don’t keep out intruders.

Check the Outside

  • Thieves hate bright lights. Install outside lights and keep them on at night.
  • Keep your yard clean. Prune back shrubbery so it doesn’t hide doors or windows. Cut back tree limbs that a thief could use to climb to an upper-level window.
  • Clearly display your house number so police and other emergency vehicles can find your home quickly.
  • If you travel, create the illusion that you're at home by getting some timers that will turn lights on and off in different areas of your house throughout the evening. Lights burning 24 hours a day signal an empty house.
  • Leave shades, blinds, and curtains in normal positions. And don’t let your mail pile up! Call the post office to stop delivery or have a neighbor pick it up.
  • Make a list of your valuables–DVD players, VCRs, stereos, computers, jewelry. Take photos of the items, list their serial numbers and descriptions. Check with law enforcement about engraving your valuables through Operation Identification.
  • Ask local law enforcement for a free home security survey.

Consider an Alarm

  • Check with several companies before you buy so you can decide what level of security fits your needs. Do business with an established company and check references before signing a contract.
  • Learn how to use your system properly! Don’t “cry wolf” by setting off false alarms. People will stop paying attention and you’ll possibly be fined.
  • Some less expensive options… a sound detecting socket that plugs into a light fixture and makes the light flash when it detects certain noises, motion sensing outdoor lights that turn on whenever someone approaches, or lights with photo cells that turn on when it’s dark and off when it’s light.

Burglars do More than Steal

  • If something looks questionable–a slit screen, a broken window, or an open door–don’t go in. Call the police from a neighbor’s house or a public phone.
  • At night, if you hear someone breaking in, leave safely if you can, then call police. If you can’t leave, lock yourself in a room with a phone and call police. If an intruder is in your room, pretend you are asleep.
  • Guns are responsible for many accidental deaths in the home every year. Think carefully before buying a gun. If you do own one, learn how to store it and use it safely.

More You Can Do

  • Join a neighborhood watch group. If one doesn’t exist, you can start one with help from local law enforcement.
  • Never leave a message on your answering machine that indicates you may be away from home. Rather than saying “I’m not at home right now,” say “I’m not available right now.”
  • Work with neighbors and local government to organize community clean-ups. The cleaner your neighborhood, the less attractive it is to crime.

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