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Burglary Prevention

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  • mpd5d_coordinator
    Tips for protecting your home from burglary, forced entry, and home invasion Don t be a target. Have you ever been locked out of your home? Were you able to
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 30, 2007
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      Tips for protecting your home from burglary, forced entry, and home
      invasion



      Don't be a target.

      Have you ever been locked out of your home? Were you able to get in
      anyway?



      Now think about it…if YOU could break into your own home, it's
      just as easy for someone else to break in, too. Many intruders will
      spend no more than 60 seconds trying to break into a home. The best
      prediction of a future burglary is a past burglary. Therefore, it is
      important to take preventive measures now. Strong locks — and good
      neighbors who look out for one another — can be effective deterrents
      to burglars. Here are a few tips that can help you keep you and your
      property safe and secure.



      Check Your Locks

      Make sure every external door has a strong, well-installed dead bolt
      lock. .Key-in-the-knob locks alone are not enough. Sliding glass doors
      offer easy access to burglars if they are not properly secured. You can
      secure them by putting a broomstick or dowel in the inside track to jam
      the door, or by installing commercially available locks. To prevent the
      door being lifted off the track, drill a hole through the sliding door
      frame and the fixed frame. Then insert a pin in the hole. Lock
      double-hung windows with key locks or "pin" your windows by
      drilling a small hole at a 45-degree angle between the inner and outer
      frames, then insert a nail that can be removed. You should secure
      basement windows with grilles or grates (but make sure that they can be
      opened from the inside in case of fire). NEVER hide keys around the
      outside of your home!! Instead, give an extra key to a neighbor you
      trust. When you move into a new house or apartment, RE-KEY THE LOCKS.

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      Check Your Doors

      While we all like to feel that once we close and lock our doors,
      we're safe and secure, the truth of the matter is that a lock on a
      flimsy door is about as effective as locking your car door but leaving
      the window down with your wallet on the front seat! All outside doors
      should be metal or solid wood. Install a peephole or wide-angle viewer
      in all entry doors so that you can see who is outside without opening
      the door. Door chains break easily and don't keep out intruders. If
      your doors don't fit tightly in their frames, install weather
      stripping around them.



      Check the Outside

      Take a look at your home from the outside, and keep in mind the
      following tips to help make your home as safe as it can be: Burglars
      HATE bright lights. Install outside lights and KEEP THEM ON at night.
      Motion-detector lights can be particularly effective. Keep your yard
      clean. Prune shrubbery so it doesn't hide windows or doors. Cut back
      tree limbs that a burglar could use to climb to an upper-level window.
      If you travel, create the illusion that you are at home by getting
      timers that will turn lights (and perhaps a television or radio) on and
      off in different parts of your home throughout the day and evening
      hours. Lights burning 24 hours a day signal an empty house! Leave
      shades, blinds and curtains in normal positions. In addition, make sure
      you don't let your mail and/or newspapers pile up! Call the post
      office and newspaper to stop delivery or have a neighbor pick them up.
      Make a list of your valuables, such as VCRs, stereos, computers, and
      jewelry. Take pictures of the items, list their serial numbers and
      description. This will help police if your home is burglarized. Contact
      your District police station for a free home security survey.



      When getting work done on your vehicle, leave only the vehicle key for
      the service personnel. The same goes for car park attendants and valets.
      If you are having work done on your vehicle, give the service station
      your business address — not your home address.



      Burglars Can Do More than Just Steal

      While most burglars prefer to strike when no one is home, intruders can
      commit other crimes such as rape, robbery, and assault if someone
      entering the home surprises them, or if they pick a home that is
      occupied. If something looks questionable — a slit screen, a broken
      window, or an open door — DO NOT GO IN! Call the police from a
      neighbor's house, a cell phone, or a public phone. At night, if you
      think you hear someone breaking in, leave safely IF YOU CAN, then call
      the police. If you cannot leave, lock yourself in a room with a phone
      and call the police. If an intruder is in your room, pretend you are
      asleep. One other important note — never leave a message on your
      answering machine that indicates that you may not be at home, or that
      you live alone. Instead, say, "We're not available right
      now."

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      What if I Live in an Apartment?

      While apartment living is a little different from living in a single
      family home, there are still some additional things that you can do to
      make sure that you, your loved ones, and your property remain safe and
      secure. Similar to Neighborhood Watch, members of an Apartment Watch
      learn how to make their homes more secure, watch out for one another and
      members of the community, and report crime and suspicious activity to
      the police. Some things you can do:

      Never let anyone you don't know into your building or past security
      doors!

      Organize citizen patrols to walk around the apartment complex and alert
      police to crime and suspicious activities. DON'T FORGET to patrol
      parking lots, stairways, laundry rooms, and playgrounds. Publish a
      newsletter that gives local crime news, recognizes Apartment Watch
      captains, and highlights community activities. Have a reception in the
      lobby of your building or a cookout on common property so neighbors can
      get to know one another.

      Start a Safe Haven Program for children – places where they can go
      in emergency or scary situations.

      Check the complex on a regular basis for problems such as burned-out
      light bulbs, dark corridors, uncollected trash, or broken locks on
      mailboxes and doors. Report any such problems to the building manager.
      Keep pressure on management to make sure it provides adequate security.
      Organize meetings to brainstorm how you can help each other, such as
      starting an escort service for the elderly.

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      Get Involved!

      No one individual or agency working alone can prevent crime. It takes
      police and citizens working in partnership. The District of
      Columbia's community policing strategy provides many ways for police
      and communities to work together to prevent crime and build safer
      neighborhoods. These include regular PSA (Police Service Area) meetings
      in your community, problem-solving groups, citizen patrols and more. To
      learn more about community policing activities in your neighborhood,
      call your local police district Fifth District Community Outreach
      Office 698-0188 or Station Desk: 698-0150 TTY: 727-5437. For more crime
      prevention information, or to schedule a crime prevention presentation,
      call the Metropolitan Police 5th District Community Outreach Office Or
      visit our Web site at: http://mpdc.dc.gov/mpdc/site/default.asp
      <http://mpdc.dc.gov/mpdc/site/default.asp> Information in this brochure
      comes from the: National Crime Prevention Council 1000 Connecticut
      Avenue, N.W.

      13th Floor Washington, D.C. 20036 Tel: 202-466-6272

      Fax: 202-296-1356 www.ncpc.org <http://www.ncpc.org/> Government of the
      District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department

      300 Indiana Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20001

      Revised May 2007



      Fayette Vaughn-Lee

      5D Community Outreach Coordinator

      202 698-0188



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