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The Ultimate Guide on How to Protect

Use the toggles below to learn how to protect just about anything and everything!

  • Notify the police and have a neighbor check your home periodically.
  • Have someone maintain your lawn.
  • Be a concerned neighbor. If you see a suspicious person, car or situation, contact the police.
  1. If you live in an apartment building with an intercom system at the front door, make sure the landlord keeps it in operating order.
  2. Never admit anyone unless you are expecting him or know him.
  3. Never admit anyone to the building who is there to see another tenant or to deliver something to another apartment.
  4. Anyone asking admission so that he can do some work for another tenant should not be admitted, but should be referred to the building manager.
  5. If you see someone in your building who looks out of place or is acting suspiciously, contact the police.
  1. Never automatically open your front door. Make sure you know your caller’s identity before admitting him.
  2. If the person at your door is a stranger, ask for identification to be passed under the door. If he is unable to do this, do not admit him.
  3. It is advisable to have a wide angle viewer (peep-hole) in the door so that you can check a person’s identity without unlocking your door.
  1. All doors in your home leading to the outside should have deadbolt locks.
  2. When away at night, leave a light burning.
  3. Do not leave a key over a door or under a mat.
  4. The single lock on a garage door is inadequate to keep intruders from prying up the opposite side and crawling in. Use a padlock. But never leave it unlocked. This is an invitation to have the padlock removed so that a key can be made, and the lock returned to its position. Later, the burglar returns when no one is home and enters at his leisure, using “his” key.
  5. Mark your valuables and keep an accurate record of all most valuable positions.
  6. When leaving on a trip:
    1. Stop all deliveries.
    2. Connect a light to a timer.

Street crime is on the increase in most large U.S. cities. It is also becoming more prevalent in small communities. The following list of “safeguards” will help protect you—and may even save your life!

  1. When leaving home, make sure that all doors and windows are locked—including the garage door.
  2. Watch for loiterers and do not carry large sums of money.
  3. If possible, travel with another person. This is especially true after dark.
  4. When carrying a purse, women would have only three or four one dollar bills placed inside. Credit cards, currency, driver’s license, keys and jewelry should be carried in a coat or sweater pocket or concealed on your person to reduce the opportunity of large losses. If you do carry a purse, don’t wrap the strap around your shoulder, neck or wrist. If your purse is grabbed, a strong strap will not yield easily and you may be injured. Some purse snatch victims have been thrown off balance and have received concussions, broken hips, arms or legs.  Don’t carry anything more valuable than you can afford to lose. Always leave all unnecessary credit cards at home.  When you shop and carry a purse, put it in your shopping bag.
  5. At night, travel only well-lighted and well-traveled streets. Avoid unlighted areas. Walk in the middle of the side walk and never loiter in deserted areas.
  6. Never hitchhike or accept rides from strangers.
  7. Walk on the side of the street nearest too on coming traffic. If accosted by someone in a car, run in the direction opposite the way the car is headed.
  8. Beware of people who approach asking directions; keep a polite but safe distance away.
  9. A good suggestion for men is to carry a second wallet containing a few $1.00 bills and old expired credit cards, which are normally destroyed or discarded. If confronted at knife or gunpoint, give the criminal the second wallet and concentrate on a good physical description to help the police in making the arrest.
  10. Upon returning home, particularly after dark, do not linger at the entrance of your residence. Make a quick check for mail or newspapers and enter immediately. If you feel something is strange, don’t enter but go elsewhere and call for police assistance.
  11. If you feel someone is following you, go to the nearest occupied residence or building and ask for assistance.
  12. If you are confronted with a dangerous situation, cry out for assistance. Yelling “FIRE! FIRE!” instead of “HELP!” will generally bring faster attention.
  1. Effective, low-cost ways to protect yourself and your family.
  2. Easy to use products.
  3. Personal protection anyone can afford!
  4. Great gift ideas that show you care!

One of the most effective tools you can use to retrieve property stolen from your home is a simple electric engraving pen. With this pen you can inscribe your name or a number on the most valuable items in and around your home. Before you do this, check with local police to see which they prefer you use: your name, driver’s license number, social security number or whatever.

Engraving your name or number on your valuables helps deter robbery in two ways:

  • First, you discourage the thief since marked property is much more difficult to sell.
  • Second, if a thief does steal your property, it is much easier to catch and prosecute him when he is discovered with goods in his possession that are easily identifiable as stolen.

Billions of dollars worth of property stolen each year is never returned to the owners. Why? Because without some identifying mark or number, the police are unable to verify stolen property or trace the owner.

More than half the property recovered by the police is eventually auctioned off or destroyed because the goods have no identifying characteristics.

In some cities, local law enforcement agencies will lend you and your neighbors an engraving pen free. In these communities, you may borrow an engraving tool for several days.

If this service is not available to you, you can purchase an inexpensive electric pen from your local hardware store for as little as $10 or $15.

This small investment could be worth a great deal more to you at a later date.

Items already marked with a serial number—such as credit cards, TVs, cameras, computers, monitors, radios, stereos, appliances, etc.—may not have to be engraved with your name or personal number. Check with local police first. If they recommend you inscribe your VALUABLES FROM THEFT identifying mark on serialized items, inscribe this information just above the manufacturer’s serial number. Be sure to write down the serial numbers and keep the list in a safe place. On un-serialized property, inscribe your name or number on the upper right corner of the rear or backside of each item.

Should you decide to sell or discard the item at a later date, you should invalidate your number by using the engraving pen or any sharp tool to draw a single line through your name or number from upper left to the lower right hand corner. Do not deface your name or number in any other way.

It is also advisable, when selling “marked” property, to write out a simple receipt and specify on it that you were the previous owner; indicate the name or number used by you. This could prevent legal hassles for the new owner at a later time.

To protect smaller valuable items such as jewelry, silverware, etc., it is wise to take a photo of each item. Simple, instant type camera photo is sufficient.

After you have marked and/or photographed all your valuables, make a detailed list of these items and keep it in a safe place. When new items are acquired, add them to your list.  As other valuables are sold or discarded, cross them off the list. If you use credit cards, they should also be recorded on your list. Either list your account number and expiration date from each card, or make a photocopy for your records.

  1. While waiting for a bus or streetcar, stand near others who are also waiting.
  2. If the immediate area is deserted or in darkness, stand near an occupied building or in a lighted area until transportation arrives.
  3. Once on a bus or streetcar, be aware of those around you. If someone looks or acts suspicious, notify the driver.
  4. If the coach is empty or nearly empty, sit as far up front and as close to the driver as possible.
  5. If someone begins to bother you, get up and notify the driver immediately.
  6. Upon arriving at your stop, be aware of those who get off with you. If you feel you are being followed, go to the nearest occupied building and ask for assistance.
  7. After dark, attempt to get off the bus in well-lighted areas. Use only well-lighted streets to reach your final destination.
  1. Make certain your car is always in good working order, with safe tires and an adequate amount of gasoline for your planned trip.
  2. Always check your car before getting in—to make sure that no one is hiding inside.
  3. If you have a garage, be sure you lock the door as you leave.
  4. It is best to park in an attended lot. If you must leave a key with the attendant, leave only the ignition key. In all other cases, lock your car.
  5. Do not leave packages or personal items in open view in the car; place them in the trunk.
  6. At night, park only in lighted areas.
  7. If you are in danger of being harmed or robbed, while in your car, start sounding your horn until assistance arrives.
  8. Never pick up a hitchhiker.
  9. If you have a flat tire in an area you feel might not be safe, try to keep driving until you reach a safe location.
  10. If you feel you are being followed, drive to the nearest police or fire station, or open filling station.
  1. Observe elevator interior before entering. Wait until the next elevator if you are uncertain of any occupant.
  2. Females riding the elevator alone should always stand near the control panel. If accosted, press ALL buttons.
  3. If a suspicious person enters the elevator, exit before the door closes.
  4. Before exiting from the elevator, observe the corridor for suspicious activity.

Purse snatching is a crime of opportunity. You can eliminate that opportunity. Every female carrying a purse is a potential target. Senior citizens are especially susceptible to these criminals since they may not be readily able to defend themselves and pursue their assailants.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Purse snatching is a crime that can be easily prevented when you take away the opportunity from the thief.

Most purse snatchers are juveniles under the age of 18, who are waiting for the next opportunity.When you hide the “prize,” you protect yourself.

Suppose you are going shopping and waiting for the bus. You are by yourself and your purse is exposed in open view. You already made two mistakes—you are alone and your purse is vulnerable. Frankly, your personal safety might depend on not clinging to that purse, even though it seems a normal way to protect the contents. Grabbing and shoving that may take place can result in being injured.

There are ways to protect yourself, however. SHOP WITH A FRIEND—TRAVEL TOGETHER The first precaution you can take is to go shopping with a friend—man or woman. You are safer when in the company of someone else.

If you must be out at night alone, stay in well-lighted areas.  Walk close to street lights, staying well away from dark corners, alleys and building entrances.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF: OUT SMART THE PURSE SNATCHER:

When carrying a purse, women should have only three or four one dollar bills placed inside. Credit cards, currency, driver’s license, keys and jewelry should be carried in a coat or sweater pocket or concealed on your person to reduce the opportunity of large losses.

If you do carry a purse, don’t wrap the strap around your shoulder, neck or wrist. If your purse is grabbed, a strong strap will not yield easily and you may be injured. Some purse snatch victims have been thrown off balance and have received concussions, broken hips, arms or legs.

Don’t carry anything more valuable than you can afford to lose. Always leave all unnecessary credit cards at home.  When you shop and carry a purse, put it in your shopping bag. Never leave your purse on a store counter or in a grocery shopping cart—even for a moment.

DON’T CARRY WEAPONS THAT CAN BE USED AGAINST YOU

You should carry a pepper spray, police whistle and a small flashlight on your keychain where they’re readily available. Make a habit of carrying your key chain in a pocket—not in your purse. And you should never put your name and address on your house keys or car keys. This is simply a way of telling the thief who you are and where you live.

CALL THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY

Most victims are attacked from behind. They don’t get a good look at the attacker. When a juvenile gets away with it once, he’ll try it again.

If attacked, call the police immediately. Try to remember all details—help your police help you!

While purse snatching is one of today’s most common crimes facing women, strong arm robbery (hold-ups, muggings) is the most prevalent act where men are generally the victims.

By observing the basic rules of “commonsense,” your chances of being victimized are greatly reduced. Since most strong arm robberies occur during the hours between sunset and sunrise, the best rule to follow is simply to stay inside at night. However, to even consider being confined to a secure area after the sun goes down is not only impossible, it is also ridiculous. By observing basic precautionary measures, chances of you becoming a robbery victim are greatly reduced.

Here are some general rules to follow:

  1. Travel on well-lighted streets. Avoid dark corners, alleys and entrances to buildings.  Always try to walk on the side of the street nearest oncoming traffic.
  2. If you must travel at night regularly, don’t carry more that you can afford to lose. One suggestion is to carry a second wallet containing a few $1.00 bills and old expired credit cards, which are normally destroyed or discarded. If confronted at knife or gun point, give the criminal the second wallet and concentrate on a good physical description to help the police in making the arrest.
  3. There’s safety in numbers! If possible, walk with a companion—either male or female.  An armed robber is less likely to confront two or more, than a lone individual.
  4. When waiting for a bus or street car, try to select a well-lighted area.  Aim for a busy stop where many people will be coming and going.
  5. Don’t hitch hike or accept rides from strangers.
  6. Avoid taking shortcuts through deserted areas such as parks, playgrounds, vacant lots, alleys, etc.
  7. Be cautious entering your car—someone may be hiding inside. Or, when leaving your car, someone may be waiting. Park in well-lighted areas.
  8. Never carry weapons that can be used against you.
  9. If someone asks directions, keep a polite but safe distance.
  10. If you are alone and think you are being followed, head for an occupied building such as a bar, restaurant, filling station, fire station, etc. If none is available, cross the street in the middle of the block. If there is street vehicular traffic, try to stop a car for help.

IF YOU ARE CONFRONTED

  1. DO NOT RESIST! Cooperate! Give the criminal whatever he asks for—wallet, keys, jewelry, credit cards or whatever.  Your life is more valuable than replaceable possessions.
  2. Don’t make any sudden, unexpected moves. A nervous criminal may think you are reaching for a concealed weapon.
  3. If the criminal claims he has a gun, knife, razor or whatever in his pocket, never try to force his bluff.
  4. Never try to be a hero and apprehend the criminal yourself.
  5. Notify police as soon as possible.

The “art” of picking pockets is among one of the world’s oldest professions. Author Charles Dickens’ Artful Dodger is probably among the best known pickpockets. However, all are not juveniles and all are not males! The skilled pickpocket is not the seedy character you’d expect to find lurking in a dark doorway. He (or she) appears about as average as you and me in appearance and manner. Because they make a study of how to “blend” into the crowd, pickpockets usually remain undetected and can practice their activities with little hindrance.

Pickpockets follow no regular schedule. They operate equally well during daylight hours as well as at night. And if you have been led to believe that picking pockets takes place only in crowds, forget it! The only known fact is that they generally focus on the public during times when they might be carrying more money than usual, such as during pre-holiday spending sprees, store sales, at fairs, carnivals, horse races, gambling casinos, near bank entrances, etc.

While many pickpockets work alone, there are also teams of two or three which sometimes involves a female accomplice. A team with nimble fingers is next to impossible to apprehend. The first team member removes the valuables from the unsuspecting victim’s pockets. He then secretly passes them on to the next member who quickly disappears.

When a female member is also employed, she generally engages the victim in conversation to distract or delay his attention.  Contrary to what most think, experienced pickpockets do not place their hands all the way into the victims’ pockets. Rather, the expert criminal reaches into the top of the pocket, takes a pleat in the lining, then makes a dozen or so more tiny pleats, folding the lining with swift dexterity between his fingers. The shortened pocket lining moves the valuables upward so that they emerge at the mouth of the pocket. The entire act takes place in a second or two.

The best protection for foiling pickpockets is to remove the opportunity of becoming a victim…

FOR MEN…

  1. The target areas are back trouser pockets, and suit coat and sports jackets, located inside and out. A pickpocket who values his freedom avoids front trouser pockets and especially buttoned or zipped pockets.
  2. If it is necessary to carry your wallet in an unbuttoned pants, coat or jacket pocket, be sure it contains only what you can afford to lose. Keep large sums of money, credit cards, IDs, etc. in your front pants pocket or any buttoned or zipped pocket; keys on a chain attached to your clothing.
  3. Never “pat” your pocket to see if your wallet is still there. This notifies the criminal of the location of your valuables.
  4. Larger size “pocket secretaries” are especially inviting to pickpockets—and relatively easy to steal.

FOR WOMEN…

  1. Do not carry your wallet in your purse.  Conceal it in a coat or sweater pocket where it does not show a bulge.
  2. Use a purse that is difficult or time consuming to open.
  3. Never let your purse lie unattended on a store counter or in a grocery shopping cart. If you have been victimized by a pickpocket, immediately notify police and give the best description you can.

If you are a female, chances are one in ten that you will be a victim of sexual assault.  The attacker makes no distinction between age, race, appearance or any other characteristic. You are more likely to become a victim because of the way you walk and talk.  Common sense is your best defense against attack. Because every rape is different, there’s no one solution for thwarting an attack.  Keep in mind that the attacker must have the opportunity and privacy to be able to assault you.

Be aware of your surroundings. Walk and talk with confidence. Don’t look or act like a victim.  Have a plan in mind of what you will do if you are ever attacked. Carry a pepper sprayer on your key chain; learn how to use it effectively.

If you are attacked, evaluate the situation and look for ways to escape. Some women have avoided rape by talking their way out of it, by acting crazy or by fighting back.

A kick in the groin isn’t usually successful because men instinctively protect this area, and you may lose your balance. If you decide to respond physically, remember that your first priority is to get away. Don’t be afraid to do anything necessary to accomplish this. (Don’t worry about hurting him.)

Your safety and escape are of the utmost importance. Act quickly and decisively to throw the attacker off guard while you escape.  Never go with him to a second location.

After an attack:

  1. Go to a safe place.
  2. Call the police.
  3. Preserve evidence—don’t change your clothes or disturb the scene of the crime.
  4. Get medical care.
  5. Contact your nearest rape crisis center.  Medical attention is vital!  Many hospitals provide free care for rape victims and offer venereal disease treatment. Remember, even if you do get treatment immediately, follow-up tests for V.D. are essential.

Never be embarrassed because of the incident. Though difficult to talk about, it is important to tell doctors what sex acts took place so they will know what medical attention is needed.  Try to remember in detail your exact experience, for police records. Give an accurate and complete description of your assailant. This is extremely important! Your complete cooperation with local authorities may help in preventing similar attacks on other girls and women.

One of the most common non-violent crimes facing America today—and most of the world—is shoplifting. So prevalent is this problem, that most stores and shops automatically increase prices (as much as 10%) to cover these losses.

Shoplifters fall into several categories.

First, there are the “professionals.” They make their living by stealing—most often to their “customer’s” specifications. They have to perfect their technique to operate…to remove labels with scissors or razor blades, that could incriminate them if caught…or by designing a “booster” box for stolen articles…or the expert use of “bad bags” (shopping bags)… or “booster” skirts or pants (ordinary appearing garments with bag like compartments inside)…plus dozens of other clever “professional’s tools.” Some take things they could easily pay for and perhaps do not even want. These offenders may suffer from kleptomania, a neurotic, irresistible compulsion to steal. This is almost never done for the purpose of acquiring the item taken.

While these people may not necessarily be considered mentally ill, generally “kleptomaniacs” are emotionally disturbed. The greatest number of shoplifters are “amateurs.” Usually, they have little money, few scruples and an intense desire to own luxuries.

Psychologists say the four most common urges and emotions underlying these crimes are:

1) profound feelings of guilt;

2) a wish to be punished;

3) a need to prove their worth, and/or

4) an impulse to retaliate for real or fancied wrongs.

These shoplifters are not necessarily ill or disturbed, they simply steal because it pays. Whether the item taken is of little value (as a candy bar or piece of bubble gum), or of greater worth (a watch or a camera), it is still shoplifting (theft) and it is still a crime. These crimes affect us all by being forced to pay higher prices.

HOW TO TELL IF YOUR CHILDREN ARE SHOPLIFTERS:

No matter how young children are, they must be taught that to take anything without paying for it is a wrongful act. If a child does not realize this at an early age, it may set a pattern that could follow him into adulthood, with disturbing consequences. The simplest way to prevent a child from stealing is to watch him at all times while you are shopping and reprimand him when the act takes place. If this fails, take him to the store manager or other authoritative personnel and say something like, “My son took this. Will you please tell him what happens to people who steal.”

Naturally, it is a more serious problem when teenagers and adults engage in shoplifting.  A friend or family member may be extremely secretive, but if they engage in shoplifting regularly, there are usually give away clues as to their activities:

1) extra unexplained income;

2) possession of luxuries you know they cannot afford,

3) secretive habits during certain times of the day, and/or

4) lavish gifts for friends and acquaintances.

WHEN YOU DISCOVER A SHOPLIFTER

If it’s a stranger in the illegal act, notify store personnel.  If it’s a friend or family member, warn him first. If this fails, tell someone in his family. As a last resort, you may have to notify police.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CAR

Always lock your car doors. Be certain all windows are completely closed. When driving, keep all doors locked. It is best to park in attended lots. If you must leave a key with the attendant, leave only the ignition key. In all cases lock your car. At night, park only in well-lighted areas.  If you have a garage, the single lock on the door is inadequate to keep intruders from prying up the opposite side and crawling in.

One of three methods may be used to secure the door:

1) add another bolt and padlock on the opposite side, or

2) install a pair of bolts on the inside—only operable from the inside, or

3) add a top center hasp. Any person of average height can operate this locking device. The hasp must be of hardened steel and installed with carriage bolts through the door or gate. Use large washers on the inside.  After the nuts are secured, deface the threads of the bolt ends with a hammer to keep the nuts from being removed.  In every case, use a minimum standard exterior padlock.

Don’t hide a key outside.  Most hiding places are obvious to the burglar.  Never leave a padlock unlocked. This is an invitation to have the padlock removed so that a key can be made, and the lock returned to its position. Later, the burglar returns when no one is home and enters at his leisure, using “his” key.

HOW TO PROTECT BICYCLES

You don’t leave your car unlocked, so treat your bicycle the same way. Use an approved chain and padlock whenever you are not in the seat!

Locket it to the garage—with a 3/8”x 6”eye screw fastened to a stud. The eye screw should be at least three feet above the floor, because this makes using a pry bar much more difficult.

Whenever you lock your bike in a public place, chain it to a secure rack or stanchion through the frame and a wheel. Keep the chain high above the ground as the bike will allow. This reduces the leverage for a pry bar or bolt cutter attack.

MINIMUM STANDARD FOR APPROVED CHAIN

The chain must be at least 5/16” hardened steel alloy. Links must be of continuous welded construction. Lighter chain, or chain with open links simply will not withstand bolt cutting attacks.

Don’t give your bike away! Using anything less will invite its theft.

HOW TO PROTECT MOTORCYCLES

These expensive bikes require additional security measures. They must be secured with a mated 3/8” hardened steel alloy chain and a padlock of equal strength. Sheathed cable has not proven to be a satisfactory deterrent to theft.

LIGHTING

Good exterior lighting is important, particularly when the yard area is obscured by high, non-removable shrubbery. The best possible location for outside lights is under the eaves. This makes ground level assault more difficult. You can buy an expensive timer or photo-electric cell which will automatically turn the lights on at dusk and turn them off at dawn.

Be sure to lock your doors before you leave, and let a neighbor have a key. When leaving your home, practice the following advice—it could pay big, big dividends.

GOING SHOPPING OR OUT TO DINNER

A residence which presents a “lived-in” appearance is a deterrent to burglars. Never leave notes on your door that can inform a burglar that your house is unoccupied. Make certain all windows and doors are secured before departing.

An empty garage advertises your absence, so close the doors.  When going out at night, leave one or more interior lights on and perhaps a radio playing (TV sets should not be left unattended). Timers may be purchased that will turn lights on and off during your absence.

Do not leave door keys under flower pots or doormats, inside an unlocked mailbox, over the doorway, or in other obvious places.

PLANNING VACATIONS OR PROLONGED ABSENCES

Discontinue milk, newspaper, and other deliveries ahead of time by phone or in person. Don’t leave notes.  Arrange for lawn care and have someone remove advertising circulars and other debris regularly. On the other hand, several toys scattered about will create an impression of occupancy.Notify the post office to hold or forward your mail. Another option would be to have a trust worthy person pick it up daily.

Apartment house tenants should also heed this hint since stuffed mail receptacles are a give-away when no one is home.  Inform neighbors of your absence so they can be extra alert for suspicious persons. Leave a key with them so your home may be periodically inspected. Ask them to vary the positions of your shades and blinds.

When you leave, do not publicize your plans.  Some burglars specialize in reading newspaper accounts of other people’s vacation activities.

If you find a door or window has been forced or broken while you were away, DO NOT ENTER. The criminal may still be inside. Use a neighbor’s phone to immediately summon police. Do not touch anything or clean up if a crime has occurred. Preserve the scene until police inspect for evidence.

ALWAYS REMEMBER TO:

  1. Lock before you leave.
  2. Trust a neighbor with a key.
  3. Be a concerned neighbor, yourself.

The majority of devices mentioned in this report cost very little. All of them will help reduce burglary and make your house or apartment more secure.

Begin with a home “security” check. Start with the front door and work clock wise around the entire inside of your home, finishing with the backyard, fence and shrubs, gates and garage. Shrubbery should never block your view of your front door. This allows an intruder the opportunity of privacy to gain entrance.

A wide angle viewer in the door lets you know your visitor in advance. This item is recommended over a chain lock.  A  dead-latch is an inexpensive lock set which keeps the burglar from simply slipping your door open with a plastic credit card.This method is common in many areas, but very easy to prevent.

AUXILIARY DEADLOCK: 1” deadbolt, single cylinder with hardened cylinder guard and thumb turn.  For extra security, a single cylinder deadbolt lock with one inch throw and case-hardened insert is recommended for all exterior doors. If you have easily breakable glass within 40 inches of a deadbolt lock, it should be augmented with a stronger type of glass or plastic to provide adequate security.

Most police departments do not recommend deadbolt locks for residential use.You may be adding additional security at the expense of personal with a double cylinder deadbolt. For example, you could lock yourself in and not be able to escape in case of fire or other emergency.

THE RIM LOCK is a 1” deadbolt lock which is installed on the inside surface of the door. It is less expensive than other types of locks but equally effective for security. THE “JIMMY-PROOF” RIM LOCK is another lock which is installed on the inside surface of the door. This lock has vertical dead bolts, which are approved locking devices.

CANE BOLTS: 1/2” in diameter by 12” high, installed at the top and bottom of the inactive door offers minimum security. Many homes with pairs of doors, use half-barrel slide bolts on the inactive door. These are weak and totally inadequate.

FLUSH BOLTS: Installed at the top and bottom of the inactive door or a pair of doors, flush bolts offer additional security, since the intruder cannot get at these devices to tamper with them if the doors are locked.

HINGE PROTECTION:  Some exterior doors are improperly installed so that the hinges are installed from outside.  To protect such a door from being lifted from its hinges by pulling the hinge pin, follow these simple steps:

  1. Remove two screws, opposite each other, from both leaves of the hinge.
  2. Insert screw or cement nail into the jamb leaf, protruding 1/2”.
  3. Drill out the opposing screw hole in the door. Do this in the top and bottom hinge of the door. When closed, the hinge pins may be removed, but the door will remain firmly in place.

Many burglars enter homes by simply breaking glass windows. A good deterrent is to have better quality glass installed at vulnerable points around the perimeter of your residence. Most burglars avoid attempting to break the following glass due to the fear of attracting attention:

LAMINATED GLASS has a vinyl or plastic inner layer sandwiched between two layers of glass. This type of glass adds additional strength to your windows. To gain entry, a burglar would have to strike the glass repeatedly in the same spot in order to make a small opening. Most burglars are reluctant to create this type of noise for fear of being detected.

TEMPERED GLASS is made by placing regular glass in an oven, bringing it almost to the melting point, and then chilling it rapidly. This causes a skin to form around the glass. Fully tempered glass is four to five times stronger than regular glass.

WIRED GLASS adds the benefit of a visible deterrent. Extra effort will be needed to break the glass and then cut through the wire located within the glass, in order to gain entry.

PLASTICS: Plastic material is divided into two types: acrylic and polycarbonate.

The acrylics are more than ten times stronger than glass of the same thickness and are commonly called plexiglass.

Polycarbonate sheets are superior to acrylics and are advertised as 250 times more impact resistant than safety glass, and 20 times more than other transparent plastic.

SECURING SLIDING WINDOWS With SLIDING WINDOWS the primary object is to keep the window from sliding or being lifted up and out of the track. There are many manufactured products available for securing windows. Here are some suggestions:

PINNED WINDOW ANTI-SLIDE BLOCKSLIDE BOLT: It is not recommended that you lock a window in a ventilating position. This is an invitation to a prying action which can result in entry. Key locking devices offer no real security, and they can be an exit hazard in the case of a fire.

CASEMENT WINDOWS are the simplest to secure. Make sure the latch works properly and that the “operator” has no excess play. If so, replace the worn hardware.

DOUBLE HUNG WINDOWS have latches that are easily jimmied open. If a window is not used, screw it shut (except bedroom). For windows in use, drill a sloping hole into the top of the bottom window, through and into the bottom of the top window, and insert an easily removable pin or nail.

LOUVRE WINDOWS are bad security risks. Remove and replace with solid glass or other type of ventilating window. Or protect with a grate or grille (except bedrooms).

WARNING: One window in every bedroom on the ground floor and second floor must be left available as a fire exit, particularly for children and guests in your home. At night, the bedroom window may often be the quickest and safest means of getting out. Because of the danger of fire, decorative grilles are not recommended on bedroom windows.

Burglars dislike noise—it attracts attention.  A barking dog is a good deterrent in preventing burglaries. However, never totally depend on a watch dog. Some professional burglars have been known to carry delectable “dog snacks” in their pockets and with a full stomach, some watch dogs make friends easily and forget their purpose of guarding the premises.

The most reliable safe-guard to protect your home and possessions is a reliable alarm.  Many types of burglar alarms can be obtained for residential use. It is advisable, however, that basic hardware security measures be followed first. If additional security is desired, the following recommendations could be helpful:

  1. Have a home demonstration of the alarm in your home, not at their office.
  2. An audible alarm is recommended over silent alarms for residential use in order to first protect people and secondly to protect property.

A RELIABLE ALARM SHOULD INCLUDE:

  1. A battery-powered fail-safe back-up.
  2. Are-arming capability and siren timer shut-off.
  3. Read-out availability to check working of system.
  4. Siren sounding device that can be installed on exterior of home to alert neighbors of possible intrusion.

When shopping for an alarm system, take this list with you.

SECONDARY BARRIER

If the value of small personal items warrants protection, a secondary barrier is an additional safeguard. On a hinging closet door, install a 1” deadbolt lock. Store your jewelry, furs, cameras, guns, silverware and other valuables behind this barrier. Be sure to “pin” the hinges and disguise the door as best as possible.

While we don’t like to talk about it—or even think about it—crime is on the increase in America, and throughout the world. The number of burglars, muggers, auto thieves, robbers, purse snatchers, etc. is growing at an alarming rate. Now you, as a resident, working with neighbors can help reduce the crime rate.

How? By organizing and/or joining a neighborhood program in which you and your neighbors get together to learn how to protect yourselves, your families, your homes, and your property. Working together, you can get the criminals off your block and out of your area.  There’s safety in numbers and power through working with a group. You’ll get to know your neighbors better, and working with them you can reduce crime, develop a more united community, provide an avenue of communications between police and citizens, establish on-going crime prevention techniques in your neighborhood, and renew citizen interest in community activity.

“Citizen Safety Projects” are set up to help you do this. It is a joint effort between private citizens and local police. Such programs have been started all over the country. Maybe one already exists in your community. These organizations don’t require frequent meetings (once a month or so). They don’t ask anyone to take personal risks to prevent crime. They leave the responsibility for catching criminals where it belongs—with the police. This is not a “vigilante” group! These groups gather citizens together to learn crime prevention from local authorities.  You cooperate with your neighbors to report suspicious activities in the neighborhood, to keep an eye on homes when the resident is away, and to keep everyone in the area mindful of the standard precautions for property and self that should always be taken.

Criminals avoid neighborhoods where such groups exist. Through cooperation with local law enforcement agencies, some of the things you will learn—and all free—are:

  1. What to do in an emergency.
  2. How to best identify a suspicious person.
  3. How to identify a vehicle being used in a suspected criminal activity.
  4. Signs to watch out for before entering a house or apartment that may be in the process of being burglarized.
  5. What to do in case of injury.
  6. What to do about suspicious people loitering on your street.
  7. How to identify stolen merchandise.
  8. How to recognize an auto theft in progress.
  9. How to protect your house or apartment.
  10. How to recognize a burglary in progress.
  11. How to protect yourself and your family…and much more.

It’s easy to get your group started. All you have to do is contact your neighbors and arrange a date, place and time for the first meeting. Hold the meetings at your home or that of a neighbor. Try to plan a time that is convenient to most of your neighbors—preferably in the evening. Then call your local police department. They will be happy to give your group informal lectures, free literature—and in many instances, window stickers and ID cards.

Remember, police officers can’t be everywhere. Your cooperation with them is for the benefit of you, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood.

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