Home Security While you are Away.


The majority of home and apartment burglaries occur during the daytime when most people are away at work or school. The summer months of July and August have the most burglaries with February having the fewest crimes. Burglaries are committed most often by young males under 25 years of age looking for items that are small, expensive, and can easily be converted to cash. Favorite items are cash, jewelry, guns, watches, laptop computers, VCRs, video players, CDs and other small electronic devices are high on the list. Quick cash is needed for living expenses and drugs. Statistics tell us that 70% of the burglars use some amount force to enter a dwelling, but their preference is to gain easy access through an open door or window. Ordinary household tools like screwdrivers, channel-lock pliers, small pry bars, and small hammers are most often used by burglars. Burglars continue to flourish because police can only clear about 13% of all reported burglaries and rarely catch the thief in the act.

Although home burglaries may seem random in occurrence, they actually involve a selection process. The burglar's selection process is simple. Choose an unoccupied home with the easiest access, the greatest amount of cover, and with the best escape routes. ¹

Here are a few tips to help make your home more secure while you are on vacation or away on business and unattractive to potential burglars.  

  • Ask your neighbors to use your garbage cans when you're on vacation so your absence won't be so evident.
  •  Use timers on your lights and radio to give the impression that someone is home.
    • Timers come in a wide variety from a programmable, computerized home to a simple plug in that you plug a lamp into. Have two or three rooms equipped so the lights go on and off at various times.
    • Leave the light over the stove on all the time, as the kitchen is one room that tends to have lights on the most.
  • Cancel all regular deliveries, including newspapers, mail and yard work.
    • You don’t want people looking through the door or mail slot and seeing mail and papers building-up.
    •  When you cancel your newspapers do not say you are going on vacation.  Tell them you are too busy to read the paper.  In this way information can not be passed on to someone who can break-in.
  • Make sure that any valuables are stored properly or secured in your safe or safety deposit box.
    • Get a floor safe and store jewelry and expensive small items in it
       include in it the video tape or list including pictures of your possessions. A floor safe can easily be concealed by carpet and shoes.
  • Make sure your security system armed. 
  • Turn on automatic timers for lights.
  • Do not change the normal pattern of opening, shutting drapes as this is a dead give-away that you are away.
  •  Turn on the radio or programmable TV so there is sound in the house.
  • Turn the Phones down. Set the answering machine to five rings.  Your message should say something like “sorry we missed your call” and not indicate you are away.
  • Arrange for neighbor to watch house, cut, and water grass, give house that lived-in look.
    • Give them your vacation schedule complete with telephone numbers so they can contact you in an emergency.
  • Padlock all gates.  Make your backyard inaccessible. It makes getting into the backyard more difficult (not impossible), but it seriously hinders getting out while carrying items like stereos and computers. This difficulty level serves as a strong deterrent. 
  • Lock doors and windows.  Make a circuit of your home to check that all windows and doors are secure and locked.        

¹ Home Security Burglar Prevention Advice by Chris E McGoey, CPP, CSP,  CAM.    http://www.crimedoctor.com/bio.htm



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