Howard County Police Capt. Daniel Coon visited with residents in Ellicott City's Dunloggin Neighborhood earlier this week to talk to people about residential burglaries.
Along with specific information about their neighborhood, he shared some general advice for people to keep their homes safe, including a brochure from Maryland Crime Watch.
Make your home look (and sound) occupied:
- By day, leave drapes in a normal position
- At night, leave on some inside lights
- Never leave garage doors open
Be a good neighbor:
- Keep an eye on your neighbors' homes, get them to do the same for you
Install good locks ... and lock them:
- Test your spring-latch door lock: open your front door part way, then push the button or twist the knob that should lock it. Try to push in the bolt that sticks out and would normally fit in the door frame if it were closed. If the bolt yields with just the resistance of a spring, you need a new lock. Police suggest a one-inch deadbolt.
Secure your windows:
- Window latches do not provide ideal security. To secure your windows further, police suggest window pinning.
- Contact the police (410) 313-3200 or sheriff's office about a free home security survey.
Change the locks 'at the drop of a threat':
- When you move to a new house or apartment, change the locks.
- Don't be generous in passing around extra keys.
- Keep car keys and house keys seperate
- Never have a name or license tag attched to your keys
Don't welcome burglars by telephone:
- If you get several suspicious 'wrong number' or 'no one on the line' calls, tell police and warn family members.
- Do not leave your name on the mailbox, that just makes it harder for burglars to look your number up.
Don't open your door to anyone with no business inside:
- Ask repairmen and others to show identificaion.
- Ask solicitors for their license.
- If you want to help a stranded motorist, you make the call while he or she waits outside.
Man's best friend repels burglars:
- Have a dog at your house if you can -- the dog doesn't need to be big or ferocious, just make noise.
Don't advertise your vacation plans:
- Let one person know your vacation plans.
- When gone, stop mail and newspaper delivery.
Tell the police:
- If you'll be away, tell the police. They won't guard your door, but they may make a run by your home from time to time.
Write down the serial numbers for you electronic devices:
- If your valuables are recovered, not only will you get them back, but police will be able to more easily connect stolen goods to a suspect.