Knowing how to protect yourself-and joining with your neighbors to make your streets safer-can reduce the opportunity for muggers, purse snatchers and other street criminals to strike.
Locks, Doors & Windows
Install good deadbolt locks in your doors, and use them. Use double-key deadbolts, and remove the key from the lock. Make sure outside doors, including the one between your house and garage, are solid, 1 3/4 inch metal or wood and fit tightly in their frames. Hinges should be inside. Secure sliding glass doors with locks or a rigid wooden dowel wedged in the track. Lock double-hung windows by sliding a bolt or nail into a hole drilled at a downward angle through the top of each sash and into the frame.
Trim back shrubbery that hides doors or windows. Cut back tree limbs that could help a thief climb to second story windows. Make sure all porches, entrances, and yards are well lighted. Keep the neighborhood up. Dark alleys, litter and run-down areas attract crime.
Do not hide house keys in mailboxes, planters or under doormats. Do not put personal identification on key rings. Leave only your ignition key with mechanics or parking attendants. If you lose the keys to your home or move change the locks immediately
Answering the Door
Install a peephole or viewer in all entry doors so you can see who is outside without opening the door. Do not trust door chains; they can be easily broken. Don’t open the door to anyone you don’t know. Insist that service personnel verify their identity before allowing them in.
Answering the Telephone
Don’t give any information to “wrong number” callers. Check references of any person calling about a survey or credit check before offering information. Hang up immediately on threatening or harassing calls.
Make your home appear occupied when you go out leave lights on and radio playing. Keep your garage door closed and locked. Use timing devices to turn inside lights on and off. If you will be gone for several days, arrange to have the mail and papers stopped or picked up.