Villas of Cobblestone




Is your home safe?

If you were locked out of your home, could you get back in (e.g., using a hidden spare key)? If so, chances are a burglar could too! Here is what you can do to make your home safer:

All external doors should be metal or solid wood (at least 1.75" thick), they should fit tightly in their frames, and their hinge pins should face inward.
The main external door should have some kind of peephole or viewer.
Make sure that every external door has a sturdy, well-installed deadbolt with a 1.5" or longer throw. (Door chains are not an effective safety mechanism.)
Secure all sliding-glass doors with a dowel, pin, or screw -- anything that prevents intruders from lifting the door out of its track.
Secure double-hung windows with bolts, keylocks, or nails -- anything that prevents intruders from opening or sliding the panel.
Always have the locks in your home changed whenever you move into a new home -- or whenever an antagonist or stranger may have keys to your home.
Consider installing a monitored alarm system, and train yourself how to use the system properly, and how to avoid false alarms.
Never hide spare keys in containers, mailboxes or planters; on top of door frames; or under doormats. Instead, leave a spare key (and your alarm information) with a trusted neighbor.
Keep a written and/or video-taped inventory of your valuables, including a identifying information such as manufacturer, model, and serial number.
Trim the shrubbery around your home, and consider planting "unfriendly" shrubbery (such as holly bushes) near windows and other entry points.
Trim any limbs that provide access to your roof, windows, etc.
Keep your outside lights on after dark, and consider installing motion detectors, photocells, or timers on the outside lights.
Keep your yard well maintained, and avoid leaving ladders and tools lying around.
Make sure that your house number is clearly visible to approaching emergency vehicles.
Get to know your neighbors, and keep a casual eye out for any unusual or suspicious activity.
Keep up the appearance of your neighborhood (e.g., abandoned cars, broken street lights, dumping and littering, and vacant property)
Form or join a Neighborhood Watch program in your neighborhood. Stay informed and keep your neighbors informed.
If you or a neighbor are planning to be away from home for an extended period of time, arrange for someone to handle your garbage, mail, newspapers, etc. In addition, in many locales, you can arrange to have the police check your property.
If you come home and suspect that someone is or has broken in, do not enter the premises. Call the police immediately.
If you are in your home and suspect that someone is or has broken in, remain quiet, lock yourself in the room, and call the police immediately.
Make a special effort to support neighbors who are victims of robbery

Posted by psalmist on 08/09/2000
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