Don't Give the Burglar a Helping Hand
Most home burglars are amateurs looking for easy targets. They're looking for homes that present the least risk of detection, the greatest opportunity for easy gain, and the maximum potential for escape. They're looking for homes thsy appear unoccupied and unprotected, homes without adequate locks and lighting, open or unlocked doors and windows, and home sites that provide easy concealment from neighbors and passing motorists.
Unfortunately, the burglar doesn't need to look around very long to discover "Welcome Burglar" signs unwittingly left around many homes. It is even more unfortunate when you realize that all it takes to make your home less inviting to a burglar is a little common sense and several easy, effective and inexpensive crime-prevention measures. By following the following suggestions, you can decrease your chances of becoming a burglary victim.
Survey Your Home
Look at your home through a burglar's eyes. Does it look like an easy target? Are there obvious security weaknesses?
- Shrubbery should not obscure doors and windows. Trim the growth so that a burglar cannot work undetected.
- At night leave a few lights burning outside your home. Lights over doorways and garages, as well as strategically placed floodlights will make your home less inviting to a burglar.
- Windows and doors should be securely locked. Inadequate locks should be replaced or supplemented.
- Make your home look occupied at all times.
- Common sense is all that is needed to identify most security weaknesses around your home. To supplement your survey and for more complicated security problems in Lexington, contact the Lexington Police Community Resource Officer 617-862-1212 for a free home security survey. At your request a Crime Prevention Officer will survey your home and give you his/her security recommendations.
What is a Good Lock?
Crime Prevention experts recommend deadbolt locks to provide the security needed for exterior doors. The bolt should extend at least one inch into the door frame to provide adequate security.
Many homes are equipped with spring-latch door locks. Most spring-latch locks can be easily jimmied by even the most inexperienced burglar. Replace or supplement any spring-latch locks with a good deadbolt lock.
Other good security locks, such as the jimmy-resistant rim lock, are available. Ask your Crime Prevention Officer about the best locks for your home.
When you move into a new home, or if you lose your house keys, contact a locksmith to change the tumblers inside the lock. The change can be done quickly and inexpensively, and it makes the old or lost keys useless. Don't forget to lock up. Even the best locks provide no protection if left unlocked. Securely lock your home even if you plan to be away for only minutes.
Secure Doors & Windows
Wooden exterior doors have either Solid Core or Hollow Core construction. Solid Core Doors provide the greatest security. They are able to withstand attacks by burglars and are best suited for installation of good locks. If an exterior door contains a glass panel or is near a window, you should install a double-cylinder deadbolt lock which requires a key to unlock it from either side of the door. This lock will prevent a burglar from reaching inside to unlock the door after breaking the glass. Hang a key out of reach but in a known location in case of emergency
Doors that swing open to the outside have exposed hinges in easy reach of the burglar. These doors can be secured by the "hinge pinning" technique:
- Remove opposing screws from both sides of each hinge plate.
- Insert pin into hole on door frame, leaving a 1/2 inch protrusion.
- Drill out opposing hold to fit pin when door is closed.
Open garage doors attract burglars.