By Aaron Blevins, 7/26/2012
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, home burglaries have increased in recent months. To help residents thwart such illegal activities, the department has released some safety tips.
Burglars usually choose their targets, and unoccupied homes with easy or concealed access and quick escape routes are ideal to thieves. Once inside a home, burglars look for small expensive items that are easily traded for cash, such as jewelry, laptops, CD/DVD players, game consoles, watches, guns and small electronic devices.
While on vacation, residents should ask a family member or friend to look after the home, or hire a house sitter to live in the home. Ask neighbors to help with trash bins and newspaper deliveries. Install an approved and monitored residential alarm system. Park a neighbor’s car in the driveway. Use timers on indoor lights to give the impression that someone is home. Have merchandise delivered to a neighbor’s house. Request vacation home checks from local law enforcement.
Lighting is also a necessary deterrent for burglars. Residents should install lights by all exterior doors, use lights at night, install outside light fixtures where bulbs are hard to reach and illuminate house numbers for quick emergency services response.
To safeguard doors and windows, install good quality dead-bolts and change the locks when moving to a new residence. Lock doors and windows, give a trusted neighbor or family member the spare key (don’t hide it outside), use solid core or metal exterior doors and use dead bolt door locks on exterior doors and double cylinder dead bolt locks if glass is within 3 feet of the lock. Residents can also add auxiliary track-type locks, removable drop bars, wooden dowels or pinning devices to windows and sliding glass doors; upgrade locks to defeat bump keying; install peepholes on doors with 160 degree views and use a locking mailbox.
For emergencies, call 911.