Community Watch Information
Warm weather is upon us. Everyone is busy running here and there. We get so focused on things that we are involved with that we forget about home security. We forget about setting our alarm, locking our doors and windows and leaving a light, radio or TV on. It only takes a thief a few minutes to enter your home and steal your TV, Computer, Jewelry, Money and anything else they can get away with quickly. I have heard so many times “this has never happened to me before” or “ I never thought about it happening to me.” The cold hard truth is, IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU. It can happen to any of us. Sometimes it happens even when we do all of the things to prevent it. Even so, let’s not make it easy for them.
Here are a few tips:
1. Create the illusion that someone is home whenever you are away for an extended period of time. Leave a TV or stereo on in a room where a burglar would most likely break in. Use exterior lighting and motion detectors to minimize burglar concealment. Make sure that alarm yard signs and window decals are properly displayed on your property, as they are a good first line of defense to deter potential burglars.
2. Make sure all exterior doors have good proper locks. Install a 1-inch deadbolt lock on all exterior doors.
3. If you get an unexpected knock at the door, check to see who it is before opening it. Call 911 if it is a solicitor without a permit.
4. Don’t leave extra keys under doormats, potted plants or at any other obvious outdoor location. Thieves will generally find them. Find an inconspicuous place to hide the keys, or give a set to a neighbor you can trust.
5. Burglar-proof your sliding glass patio doors by setting a pipe or metal bar in the middle bottom track of the door slide. The pipe should be the same length as the track. Optional home security equipment, such as a glass break sensors can also be used to detect when a glass door or window is shattered and alert you of a break-in.
6. Keep garage doors closed at all times. Even when you’re home, it’s important to safeguard your belongings and your family. By keeping garage doors closed, it prohibits intruders from gaining access to a door that leads directly into your home. Home security system components such as an overhead garage door contacts an also provide added protection to your home.
7. Keep drapes and blinds shut – especially in rooms where there is expensive equipment. Don’t advertise the items in your home. By investing in a home security system and following home safety tips like this, you can help protect your investments, even when you’re not there.
8. Store cash, jewelry and other valuables in a safe or safety deposit box instead of leaving them lying around the home. Helping protect your investments and arming your home with a security system can help lower your risk of a home invasion or burglary.
9. Don’t leave notes on the door for service people or family members when you’re not there. These alert the burglar that you are not home. It’s also important to remember to arm your system every time you leave your house to ensure your home, pets and valuables are safe.
10. Adjust your telephone ring to its lowest volume setting, if you’re going to be away from home for a few days. An unanswered phone may tip off a burglar that no one is home. Also, have a neighbor or friend collect your newspaper and mail. Never cancel delivery – you don’t know who will get that information.
11. Lock your vehicle’s and do not leave any valuables visible inside.
12. Don’t fall prey to scams, if they are offering you something for nothing, it is very possibly a scam.
13. Protect your identity. Do not give personal information to anyone you don’t know or trust.
Recently we have seen an increase in break-ins to sheds or backyard buildings. Please make sure that if you have a shed on your property you keep it locked. This will not guarantee that it will not get broken into, but at least it will make it harder for someone to get into it and may deter them from trying.
Please continue to report suspicious activity to 911. Community involvement is the biggest deterrent to crime that we can have.
If you don’t have a Community Watch program in your neighborhood and would like information on starting one, please give me a call, or send me an e-mail. If you have a Community watch program but have not had a meeting in a while, think about having one to refresh and involve new neighbors that you might have. Prevention is the key. Please continue to be our extra eyes and ears and report any suspicious activity to 911.
If you are going to be out of town consider signing up for a house check. Below is the link to the form.
Please visit our website for additional information and services. http://www.ci.chapel-hill.nc.us/index.aspx?page=76
Officer Robin Clark, RCLARK@townofchapelhill.org or 919-969-2068