It’s vacation time and we all get so
distracted when we prepare to leave.
Down to the hurried departure time, we
find ourselves neglecting our home
Our Forest Hills off-duty police patrol
puts the bad guys on notice that the
neighborhood may not be good target
after all, but what kind of message are
you broadcasting about your house?
These are tips to ensure you don’t come
home after your holiday and find it
wrapped in yellow crime tape!
1. Before you pack your bags, be sure
your security system is operating
correctly, you have paid the city
security permit fee and your emergency
contact numbers with your security
company have been updated. Be sure
the alarm is loud outside as well as
inside. Use visible security
company lawn signs and decals. A
good time to remember to check your
security and smoke detector alarm system
is when you change the time in the
spring and fall.
2. Let your neighbors on each side,
across the street and behind you know
that you will be gone and ask them to
please keep an eye on your home.
Have someone come by in the morning and
evening to check on things. Give
them a key, don’t hide it outside.
Have someone park a car in your driveway
during the day, a different place each
time. Make it look like there is
everyday activity. Be sure they
put it in their garage at night or it
might become the target.
If your window coverings are closed or
open certain times of the day, have a
friend or neighbor set the same stage.
Window shopping is a favorite pastime
for crooks. Keep the curious eyes
of smash and runners from seeing what
you worked hard for.
3. Use timers to turn lights, radios and
TV’s on and off at times to simulate
their normal use. Consider
installing a timer on light switch
plates for porch or other outside door
lights. One that is not décor invasive,
fitting flat in the switch plate is the
small Intermatic’s electronic timer
(EI600LAC) with a battery backup, which
can be set to come on according to daily
sunset and sunrise times 24-7, all year
long. Cost is around $60. Leaving your
porch, driveway or garage lights on 24
hours a day is a clear indication that
no one is home.
4. Keep the lawn mowed and newspapers,
doorknob circulars and mail picked up.
Keeping up appearances creates the
impression someone is at home.
5. Give an itinerary to neighbors and
friends, listing hotel and cell phone
numbers. If you are a FH security
program participant, please fill out or
email the home watch form Home Watch
Form with all these details and
special instructions. Give two
additional neighbors keys in case
firefighters or police need to enter the
house in the event of an emergency.
6. Consider reinforcing your doors. The
weakest point is almost always a flimsy
lock strike plate. Upgrade to a
four-screw heavy-duty strike plate,
using 3-inch wood screws to go deep into
the doorframe. One exceptional product,
reasonably priced is Sure-Strike.
7. Make a list of model and serial
numbers and consider engraving your
driver’s license on electronic items.
Password protect your computer. Take
photographs of valuables like jewelry
and silverware and make copies of
contents in your wallet. Keep all this
info somewhere other than in your house
or on the home computer.
8. Don’t leave car keys or important
papers on counter tops that are easy to
grab and run with.
You cannot make your home, your property
or yourself totally crime proof,
but you can make them crime resistant.
Remove the target.