It happens every year: the rate of burglaries in the neighborhood goes up in the warm summer months, usually peaking in August. One of the key reasons why is the way we open up our un-airconditioned houses to the outside, inviting perps to take advantage when we’re away or not looking.
We teamed up with Mark Solomon, Crime Prevention Coordinator for the Central District, who gave us some tips on how to secure your home and keep from being taken advantage of. Here’s his main points:
- Reinforce your doors – Get some long screws (at least 3″) and replace the screws in your latch and deadbolt plates, fastening them all the way to the frame of the house. This will help the door survive the force of an intruder who tries to kick it in.
- Watch open garages – Working in the front yard, with an open garage at the back? It’s a perfect opportunity for someone to swipe some of your tools. Make sure to secure any garage or other entrance to your home if it’s not within eyesight
- Close and lock your windows – We all want a gentle breeze through the window on a warm day, but open windows are a prime way for thieves to get into your house. Close and lock all windows when you’re away, even on upper floors, and consider using dowels or other devices to limit the window’s range of opening
- Secure your electronics – Laptops, cell phones, and other easily sold electronics are most often stolen. Don’t leave them sitting out in view, and use things like laptop locks to secure them. You can also etch your name into electronics and record their serial numbers to make it harder for thieves to resell them.
Mark and the other Crime Prevention Coordinators are available to meet with your blockwatch to go over these tips and other safety topics in greater detail. You can contact them through the SPD website.
Also note that Mark holds one of the positions that’s scheduled for termination by SPD next year. Contact the mayor and city council if you’d like to see them continue their work in the neighborhood.