Safe guarding your home
Please consider the following tips when safe-guarding your home against crime:
- Many burglars will spend no more than 60 seconds attempting to break into a home. Make sure every external door has sturdy, well-installed deadbolt locks.
- Sliding glass doors offer easy access if not properly secured. You can secure them by installing commercially available locks or putting a broomstick or wooden dowel in the inside track to jam the door.
- Never hide house keys under the door mat or a rock that is near your door. Most burglars know that trick. Instead, give an extra key to a trusted neighbor.
- When you move to a new house or apartment, have a competent locksmith rekey the locks.
- All outside doors to your home should be metal or solid wood.
- Install a peephole in all entry doors so you can see who is outside without opening the door.
- Don't rely on door chains; they break easily and don't keep intruders out.
- Prune back shrubbery and trees so that they don't obscure windows or doors.
- Install outdoor floodlights or motion-sensor lights to eliminate any areas where someone might hide.
- When you go out of town, give your house that "lived-in look" by putting a few of your lights on timers. Also, stop your mail and newspaper delivery or have a trusted neighbor pick it up for you.
- Don't leave anything, such as ladders or tools lying outside that can be used to break into your home.
- If you are a female and you live alone, don't advertise it by putting "MIss Jane Doe" on your doorbell or mailbox. Just put the inital of your first name and your last name, "J. Doe."
- Mark all of your valuables with your license number. Engravers are available from the Rochester Police Department on a loan-out basis.
- Consider installing metal grills on windows, but make sure they are easily removable from the inside in case of fire or other emergency.
- Write down and report to the police any license plate numbers on vehicles used by suspicious persons in your neighborhood.
- Join a Neighborhood Watch Group. If one doesn't exist, start one with the help of your local law enforcement agency.
Personal Safety Tips
- While driving, lock your doors and roll up your windows. Park in well-lit areas and keep all valuables out of sight and in the trunk.
- While walking, avoid isolated areas. Walk confidently and with another person if possible. Don't carry a lot of cash and avoid wearing anything that would attract unwanted attention like furs or jewelry.
- When answering the door, never let in a stranger for any reason.
- Always ask service people for identification before letting them in your home. You may want to contact the company to verify their identity.
- Never, EVER pick up hitchhikers (male or female, young or old).
- Beware of a stranger who approaches you with a "great business opportunity. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
- Never leave your keys in your car or your doors unlocked.
- If possible, choose a parking lot with an attendant.
- Remove any identification from your personal key ring.
- Be aware of your surroundings - know who's out there and what's going on.
- Trust your instincts! If a situation or place makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy, leave!