Burglary prevention

Burglaries can undermine your feeling of safety and security in your own home or business, as well as the loss of personal items that can be difficult or expensive to replace.

Burglaries are crimes of opportunity. By following these best practices, it is less likely that you will be the victim of a property crime.

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Home safety best practices

Secure your home or apartment

  • Close and lock all of your doors and windows, even if you are just working in the backyard, running a short errand, or visiting with a neighbor.
  • Upgrade locks for better safety.
    • Use pin locks on windows, especially on the first floor.
    • Install and maintain deadbolt locks on exterior doors.
  • Lock your garage by securing all doors and windows.
  • If possible, invest in a security system.

Do not leave valuables in plain sight

  • Valuables may include computers, bikes, lawnmowers, snow blowers and other expensive items.
  • Store sensitive, important items in a secure place.

Make a home inventory

  • A home inventory is a list of your valuable items.
    • It should include the make, model and serial number whenever possible.
    • Some items like jewelry or art may have an appraisal that can be included in the inventory.
  • This information can be helpful for prosecution as well as an insurance claim.
  • Store a copy of this document in a safe place.

Exterior safety

  • Use exterior lighting and consider setting these lights on an automatic timer.
  • Strategically plant a garden with shrubs or other greenery underneath ground floor windows. Keep bushes and plants well trimmed.
  • When you are away from home at night, make sure your home looks occupied by leaving on an interior light.

Travel tips

Best practices to protect your home when you are away:

  • Close and lock all your doors and windows.
  • Don't announce vacation plans on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
  • Don't post pictures to social media sites while you are away.
  • Stop mail and newspaper deliveries or ask a neighbor to pick them up.
  • Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home and keep up basic maintenance, like picking up packages and shoveling snow.
  • Set up timers for interior and exterior lights.
  • Don't leave valuable items in plain sight. Store sensitive, expensive and important property in a secure place.
  • Activate your alarm systems.

Report suspicious activity

If you see suspicious activity, call 911.

When neighbors call 911, it prevents crime. It can also help police to arrest a suspect and prosecutors to get a conviction.

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