Richmond Police Department
“Crime Prevention Tips”
Protect your home with these “tips” to minimize the chances of you becoming a crime victim. Take a walk around your home and do an assessment of your security strong points and weaknesses. Those that appear to make your home vulnerable fix or repair yourself, make upgrades if needed, or call in the professionals to do the required work.
Doors – doors are the most common point of entry for burglars. Keep your doors locked at all times. For instance, if you are working in the backyard lock your front door and/or garage inner door. Make sure you have at a minimum a reinforced deadbolt on all doors. This includes garage doors as well. When a burglar sees an open garage door with no car inside it advertises that no one may be at home. Keep your garage doors closed as much as possible instead of advertising all the “neat stuff” you have such as tools, sporting equipment, appliances, bicycles, etc. A peep hole should be installed on the front door to provide a view of anyone at the front door. Use it and never open your door to a stranger. If someone suspicious shows up or is seen in the neighborhood call the Police Department.
Windows – always lock your windows as many burglars will try the windows if the doors are locked. Open and/or unlocked windows are the next best thing to a door for a burglar looking for a point of entry. Be careful and use a correct and Fire Department approved locking device on any bedroom window that would prevent an emergency exit. Don’t forget to secure any roof or skylight with reinforced screening or bars and/or alarm sensor.
Exterior Lights – Good working exterior lighting on a house and surrounding yard area is an excellent deterrent to burglars, vandals, “peeping toms”, and others up to no good. Good illumination especially at points of entry (doors, gates, garage doors) is important as it helps your neighbors keep an eye on your home as well. Also, assist the City or Richmond by reporting any burnt out or broken street light to the Police Department, City Offices, or DPW.
Landscape & Shrubs – Make sure to trim or keep cut away from any window or entry way any landscaping, trees, bushes, or tall plants that would provide a burglar with a hiding spot while they attempt to gain entry into your home.
Alarms – If your home or business is equipped with an alarm system it should be professionally installed and located where your neighbors can hear it. It should however, be concealed and out of view from the public so as not to be targeted and disabled. Also, professionally installed alarm systems prevent a lot of false alarms that can get expensive when false alarm runs by the police start to add up. There are a lot of alarm companies on the market today. Make sure you do your homework and research them on the Internet or ask neighbors or friends who own them.
Home Vacation Watch - Lastly, but most importantly, when you go away for an extended time or a vacation, make sure you stop your mail (you can do that online with the US Post Office web site), stop your newspapers (you can do that online with most and/or contact your newspaper carrier), and alert your neighbor(s) if you expect any package deliveries while you are away.
Make sure you set up timers inside your home to give the appearance that someone is still home. You can purchase inexpensive timers that turn on and off at several different times of the night and early morning.
If during the winter, have someone shovel your walkways and driveways. If during the summer, have someone cut your grass.
AND…don’t forget to let the Richmond Police Department know you are gone by filling out and submitting a Home Vacation Watch form that lets us know what cars are still going to be home, if timers are being used, who has a key if needed, and contact numbers to notify you of any issues. We will make routine checks of your home during your absence.
Working together with your neighbors and your Police Department will help in minimizing your house as a target to thieves, vandals, and criminal element that preys on your most prized possession and most precious asset, that being your home. It is well worth the extra attention to security and effort to fortify it. Your Police Department is available to assist you with a security audit and make recommendations to improve your home’s vulnerability.