The following is a PSA issued by Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore.
Your home is most likely your biggest investment. As such, you need to keep it well protected so it can serve you in the years to come. Nobody wants to be the victim of a burglary, but unfortunately, the statistics don’t lie. According to a County Crime Index study, there were 28,874 property crimes reported in Suffolk County for 2011.
Safeguarding your home goes far beyond installing an alarm system and keeping doors and windows locked. The Suffolk County Police Department has compiled a home security checklist that all homeowners should have in place. Don’t wait until you are a victim- consider employing these useful tips before a burglar strikes. A few small investments now can prevent financial and emotional distress down the road.
HOME SECURITY CHECKLIST:
- Door locks should be the dead bolt type.
- Are door jams strong and does the throw
plate have 3’’ screws securing it?
- Do you have doors with glass that is within 40” of lock? If so, you may need a double cylinder dead bolt lock.
- Are your locks in good working order?
- Are hinges on the inside of your doors?
- Are all of your doors solid core?
- Do doors with no glass have a peep hole or 180 degree viewer?
- Have you avoided placing an extra key outside?
- Do your sliding glass doors have a pin or wood dowel in track?
- Can sliding glass doors be lifted out of the track?
- Have your locks been changed since you’ve moved in?
- Do not open the door to strangers. Ask for I.D. or verify their reason for being there.
- Double hung windows should be pinned.
- If you have Anderson type windows, did you remove the cranks?
- Are basement windows barred?
- Do you properly lock all first floor windows when not home or sleeping?
- Trim down high shrubs so there is no place to hide a criminal.
- Trim tree limbs away from house so they cannot be used to gain access to second floor roofs or windows.
- Keep outside lights working properly.
- Is lighting installed properly?
- Use demand lighting that will turn on the lights when someone enters yard.
- Do all locks work properly?
- Keep your garage locked at all times.
- Do you have dead bolt type locks on all doors?
- Do not leave your car keys in the vehicle while parked in garage.
- Do you have someone to pick up your mail and papers?
- Do you notify a trusted neighbor to watch your home?
- Do you have someone take care of your yard in the summer or shovel your driveway in the winter?
- Do you set your lights on a timer?
- Are bikes, ladders, and equipment kept inside and not in yard?
- Have you marked all your property with I.D.?
- While you are in the yard, do you keep front doors and windows locked?
- Do not give information over the phone to strangers.
- If you have a mailbox, is it properly secured?
- Do you keep valuables in a safe deposit box?
- Do you keep a list of emergency numbers by your phone and teach your children to use them?
These recommendations are not a guarantee that a crime will not occur. However, when followed, they can help reduce your chances of becoming a victim.