Home   Apartment

WAYS TO

SECURE

YOUR HOME

OR

APARTMENT

1. Remember thieves are looking for easy access and “coverage” (the areas of the house that are not easily seen by neighbors like the back or side of the house facing a vacant or wooded lot).  Keep the area under/near windows free of trees and bushes.  Tree branches that come close to an upper story window or deck is as good as a ladder to a thief!  Therefore, keep trees pruned back. 

2. Keep ladders, garbage cans and tools, locked up and out of sight.

3. Install motion sensor outdoor lights especially on the dark sides of your property.  Good lighting is a deterrent to criminals because they don’t want to be seen. Apartment hallways including common laundry and storage areas as well as parking areas should be well lit.  Tenants should report out lights within your apartment building to your landlord right away!

4. All exterior doors (and apartment doors) should be solid core or metal doors (that cannot be easily kicked in) with deadbolts.  Locks should be secured with 3” screws so the jamb remains secure.

5. When you move into a house, install new locks on all exterior doors.  You have no idea who the previous residents may have given a spare key to!  Apartment dwellers should ask the landlord if the door locks are replaced or rekeyed before new tenants move in.  If the answer is “no”, insist that your apartment door have a new heavy duty deadbolt installed.  If the landlord does not comply, DON’T RENT THE APARTMENT!  You don’t want the previous tenant or any of his/her entourage to be able to open your door.

6. Before you leave the house or apt. make sure ALL your doors and windows are locked even the 2nd story.  If you have sliding windows or doors, install a dowel or piece of wood in the track so they can’t be forced open.   

7. For tenants, make sure there’s a well-designed peephole installed in the apartment door.  You should be able to see out (no one should be able to see in!)

8. Garages/sheds are extensions of your home.  Make sure they have a good deadbolt.  Most of the houses built in our neighborhood have detached garages; but if your house has an attached garage, make sure the windows have bars on them. 

9. Keep jewelry and other valuables in a safe that can be bolted to the floor or a closet wall.  Strong boxes and even 90 lb safes can be carted out the front door by highly motivated thieves!  Print and fill out the Personal Identification Record, photograph all jewelry, valuables and electronics and store in a safety deposit box.  Because marked property is difficult to sell or pawn, put your driver’s license number (NOT your social security number) on any expensive electronic equipment...this can dissuade theft.

10. Mark the bottom of outdoor lawn ornaments, furniture, etc. with your license number with invisible ink pens.

11. Make sure your name is not written on your mailbox.  The house or apartment number is enough.  If a person has your last name and where you live, they can search for information about you online! 

12. If you live in an apartment, make sure your door has a peephole and always use it to make sure you know your visitors.

13. Install a home or apartment security system. 

PLANT ROSE BUSHES OR OTHER THORNY SHRUBS UNDER WINDOWS OF YOUR HOME!

Burglars want “easy” access not painful!

 

Good lighting is a deterrent to criminals because they don’t want to be seen!

 

Deadbolts are a must on all exterior doors!

Renters: Ask landlord if the door locks are replaced or rekeyed before new tenants

move in!  If not, do not rent that apartment!

Keep jewelry, valuables and important paperwork in a safe bolted to floor or closet wall.

Mark bottom of outdoor lawn ornaments and furniture with license number.

Put number only

(no name) on mailbox.

Apartment dwellers:

Install a peephole if necessary and

always use it!

 

Lock all windows and doors at night and before leaving the house.

 

&Security

The best thing you can do for home and apartment security is to get to know your neighbors so you can look out for each other!

To avoid being locked out of your house, secure a spare key in a combination lockbox on your property OR LEAVE ONE WITH A TRUSTED NEIGHBOR!  Never hide your key near the door (above molding, in or under a plant or under doormats)!  These are common places for burglars to look for a key!

WARNING

If you come home and something looks questionable…a slit window screen, a broken window, a kicked in door...DO NOT GO INSIDE!  Go to your car or to

your neighbor’s house and CALL THE POLICE:  911.  There is always a chance that the burglar is still inside...this is a situation that should be handled by the police~Always!

 

*If your home has been burglarized or items stolen from your property,

compile a list of stolen items with detailed descriptions and replacement

values.  This information is important for police and insurance purposes!

 

*Police often check local pawn and gold/silver buy back shops for stolen property in the days following a home break-in...burglars know this so they often wait to bring the items in to sell.   Visit local shops weekly for several months following the home invasion as you might be able to recover your stolen jewelry/items.  

Attend

West Side Watch

meetings!  We meet monthly and learn new and

effective ways to protect our homes/apartments and families.  Contact Bangor Police Department for more information.

 Sources:

 

Carter, Mia. “What to do After a Burglary Into Your House.” Suite 101. 7, Dec. 2008. Web. 6 June 2012.

“Home Security: Tips, Ideas and DIY Projects.” Apartment Therapy. (n.d.). Web. 9 Sept 2012

McGoey, Chris. “Home Security: Burglary Prevention Advice.” Crime Doctor. (n.d.). Web. 6 Jun 2012

Bangor Police Department Records Division

 

 

 

According to the Bangor Police Department, home invasions/burglaries increased by over 100% from 2010 to 2011 in our neighborhood zone (Second to Third St from Parker to Union).  West Side Watch began in the fall of 2011 after two homeowners had their homes broken into on Second Street.  

 

After a break in, one may feel scared, angry, defenseless, violated.  Even neighbors realize “if it can happen across the street, it can happen to my house”.  HOME is your sanctuary.  It’s the one place you should feel safe and secure.  However, when someone breaks into your home or the homes around you, those feelings of “safe and secure” vanish.  Of those two documented burglaries and attempted burglaries on Second Street in 2011 mentioned above, one occurred on a weekday at 3pm and one at 6am on a Saturday.  In other words, they occurred in broad daylight.  Most home invasions occur during the day when homeowners are at work or school. 

 

 

 

WHAT ARE THIEVES AFTER?

 

Ultimately, thieves want drugs or cash to buy drugs; therefore, they steal small, expensive items that can be easily converted to cash.  With businesses popping up on every street corner that give top dollar for gold and silver, jewelry is a hot commodity for the neighborhood thief.  Several times a year, Bangor is even home to traveling jewelry (gold/silver) buy-back programs that operate out of local hotels and conference centers.  

 

Thieves are looking for homes and apartments with EASY access with the greatest amount of cover...unlocked doors/windows or ones that can be easily pried open.  

 

 

 

 

Our job is to make the criminal’s job difficult so our homes and apartments are not selected as EASY targets.

 

 

In other words, we want to make our homes “unattractive” to burglars!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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