It’s always helpful to learn as much as you can when it comes to keeping your home and family safe. One of the best ways, is to research your own County’s Sheriff’s department. They usually offer many valuable programs and advice for homeowners and businesses looking to safeguard against burglaries and break-ins. For instance, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, is a wealth of information. Below, are excerpts taken from their Home Burglary Prevention brochure.
The majority of home and apartment burglaries occur during the daytime. Burglaries are committed most often by young males, less than 25 years of age, looking for items that are small, expensive and can easily be converted to cash. A high percentage of burglars use some amount of force to enter a dwelling, but their preference is to gain easy access through an unsecured door or window. A burglar will simply bypass your home if it requires too much effort or requires more skill and tools than they possess.
The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office recommends the following 7 tips to minimize the risk of break-ins and make homes unattractive to potential burglars:
Use a home safe and install it away from the master bedroom and anchor safe to floor if possible.
For sliding glass doors, secure with secondary locking devices and use anti-lift devices such as through-the-door pins or upper track screws.
For doors and locks, use a solid core or metal door for all entrance points. They should have a heavy-duty, dead bolt lock with a one-inch throw bolt and a quality, four-screw strike plate with 3-inch screws to penetrate into a wooden door frame.
Alarm systems should be properly installed, programmed and maintained. Activate alarms when home alone and keep your alarm response call list up to date. Always ensure that your alarm service provider’s stickers and signs are visible.
Use timers for interior (mostly for when you’re on vacation) and exterior lighting.
Secure all accessible windows with secondary blocking devices that prevents them from opening no more than six inches for ventilation.
Trim your bushes, hedges and shrubs so they are no higher than 2-3 feet. This will prevent a burglar from hiding behind them. If you need larger foliage, plant thorn-types of bushes. Also, trim tree branches so they are no lower than 6 feet from the ground to provide good visibility from your home to the road.