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Preventing Home Burglaries

Submitted by Lorene Bartos, UNL Extension Educator

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Burglaries in the area are on the increase. Almost daily there is a break-in of a home or business. What are you doing to prevent your home from being the next target for a burglary? Billions of dollars of losses are reported nationally from burglaries. By taking some simple precautions families can protect their homes and property. Thieves will usually spend only four to five minutes trying to enter someone's property. So it is important to take steps to reduce easy accessability to your home or business.

Some simple steps to take are:

* Always keep entry doors locked. Use quality locks and install easy-to-use deadbolt locks.

* Close garage doors. Open doors are an invitation for theft and advertise your belongings. Keep doors closed even when you are home – many burglaries occur when families are in the backyard or doing yard work

* If you use a keypad opener for your garage door, limit those who know the code. Remind your children of the importance of keeping the code a secret.

* It is a good policy to lock the door between the house and garage.

* Use a peephole to identify visitors before opening your door.

* Outside motion detector lights are excellent deterrents.

* Utilize timers to turn lights and radio on and off at various times, when away from home for a short time or extended periods.

* Avoid leaving keys in hidden spots outside your house and resist leaving notes on your door (they inform potential thieves you are gone).

* Always remove keys from vehicles and lock them. Be mindful remote garage door openers left in vehicles are like keys to your house.

* Be aware open drapes/blinds can expose valuables to criminals.

* When you are gone for an extended periods, have someone pick up newspapers and deliveries, mow your lawn or remove snow.

* Identify your property such as outdoor equipment, electronics, tools and other household item, with an identification number or marking paint. It is recommended to mark equipment in at least two places. With identity fraud a major concern, do not use your social security number.

* Conduct a household inventory, document your belongings by taking pictures of each room and garage. Keep a log of where items are and their value. It is good to file receipts for easy reference, if needed.

* Check your insurance policy to determine your coverage.

* Utilize or organize a neighborhood watch program.

Be a good neighbor. Be aware of what is going on in the neighborhood. Discuss home security with your family. Don't let burglars have easy access to your home.

Remember the three L's of Crime Prevention: Lights, Locks & the Law! Light up your residence, lock your doors at all times and call the law when you see something suspicious.

Ask Lorene

(This resource was added January 2008 and appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper Sunday edition. For information on reproducing this article or using any photographs or graphics, read the Terms of Use statement)

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University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lancaster County
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