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 need to be fixed or repaired, make upgrades if needed, or call in the professionals to do the required work.
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 garage inner door. Make sure you have at the minimum, a reinforced deadbolt on all doors. Keep your garage doors closed as much as possible as well
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.
Always lock your windows, as many burglars will try the windows if the doors are locked. Open 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 Fire Department approved locking device on any bedroom window that wouldn't prevent an emergency exit. Don't forget to secure any roof or skylight with reinforced screening or bars or alarm sensor.
Good working exterior lighting on a house and surrounding yard area is an excellent deterrent to burglars, vandals, "peeping toms," and others seeking a good opportunity. Good illumination, especially at points of entry such as doors, gates, and garage doors, is important as it helps your neighbors keep an eye on your home, as well. Also, assist the City of Richmond by reporting any burnt-out or broken street lights to the Police Department, city offices, or Department of Public Works (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.
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 isn't 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
When you go away for an extended time or a vacation:
- Alert your neighbors if you expect any package deliveries.
- If during the winter, have someone shovel your walkways and driveways. If during the summer, have someone cut your grass.
- Let the Richmond Police Department know you are gone by filling out a Home Vacation Watch Form.
- Set up timers inside your home to give the appearance that someone is still home.
- Stop your mail.
- Stop your newspapers.
Working together with your neighbors and your Police Department will help in minimizing your house ending up 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 will make recommendations to improve your home's vulnerability.