Every month is Crime Prevention Month for us, and we’re always looking for ways to help you (and us) stay safe with personal and home security tips . In honor of the real national Crime Prevention Month, we’ve asked several crime prevention experts to share their knowledge and recommendations on how to prevent burglaries. Here’s how they answered:
What’s the most important thing a homeowner can do to prevent burglaries?
Captain in the Fairfax County Police Department and former patrolman and crime prevention officer.
“Create the illusion of occupancy. Although there are some burglars that break into occupied houses, most are determined to break into an unoccupied home, an easy target. In fact, most burglaries occur between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when people are at work. It’s more dangerous for all parties if a home is occupied. We ask homeowners to put on a reading light and radio, and leave a car in the driveway, so the house always looks occupied and well maintained.”
James R. Holmes:
Forty-year police veteran and spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department.
“The best thing you can do to prevent burglaries is to keep all windows and door locked and your curtains closed when you’re not at home or when you’re sleeping.”
Veteran detective and public information officer for the Tulsa Police Department.
If you can afford it, alarm your windows and doors and make sure you always lock them. If you’re not home, leave a light or radio on, and make sure your mail and newspapers are collected regularly so a crook thinks someone is in the house. Also, always keep your garage door closed and locked.
Security and protection consultant and author of “The Alarm Science Manual.”
Burglary is an opportunistic crime, so you want to harden the target by installing outdoor lighting, fortifying the doors and installing deadbolts. You should also put security film on large windows and glass doors, which holds the glass together and delays crooks from 5 to 15 minutes. That’s enough to thwart the burglar and convince them to move on. Also, put a deadbolt lock on the doors from the garage into the home and from the basement into the home. And replace hollow core doors with solid wood doors, which will slow a crook down, too.
What do you do to prevent burglaries? Share your tips with us on facebook or twitter. Don’t forget to stay tuned for our next expert roundup where these security professionals answer the question “How do homeowners unknowingly invite break-ins?”