The holiday season is a prime time for home burglaries given people are out shopping most nights and homes are filled with gifts. According to police the change in daylight saving time in November also contributes to a spike in home burglaries as it’s dark by 5 p.m. and residents often forget to reset outside light timers or leave an indoor light on when not home. A dark house is an invite to a home invasion.
But there are some simple steps Babylon Village residents can take to help prevent a burglary, according to Suffolk Police, which offers up a checklist of good practices and questions residents should review.
Best Practices For Averting a Home Burglary
1. Door locks should be the deadbolt type.
2. Do not place an extra key outside.
3. Do not open the door to strangers. Ask for I.D. or verify their reason for being there.
4. If you have a double deadbolt lock, do not use it at night (if there is a fire, there is a danger of not being able to get out without the key).
5. Are door jambs strong and does the striker plate have 3” screws securing it?
6. Do you have doors with glass that is within 40” of the lock? If so, consider installing a throw bolt, mounted wall to door, at the top or bottom of the door (install at the bottom if there are children in the house).
7. Are your locks in good working order?
8. Are the hinges on the inside of your doors?
9. Are all your doors solid core?
10. Do doors with no glass have a peephole or 180° viewer?
11. Do your sliding glass doors have a pin or wood dowel in the track?
12. Can sliding glass doors be lifted out of the track?
13. Have your locks been changed since you moved in?
1. Double-hung windows should be pegged to limit the opening to a small aperture.
2. If you have crank-type windows, did you remove the cranks?
3. Are cellar windows barred?
4. Do you properly lock all first floor windows when not home or sleeping?
1. Trim down high shrubs so there is no place for a criminal to hide.
2. Trim tree limbs away from the house so they cannot be used to gain access to the second floor roof or the windows.
3. Are there loose objects that could be lifted and thrown through windows?
1. Keep outside lights working properly.
2. Use sensor lighting that will turn on the lights when someone enters the yard.
3. Are all the lights installed properly?
1. Keep your garage locked at all times.
2. Do not leave your car keys in the vehicle while parked in the garage.
3. Do all locks work properly?
4. Do you have deadbolt locks on all the doors?
1. Do you have someone to pick up your mail and newspapers?
2. Do you notify a trusted neighbor to watch your home?
3. Do you have someone take care of your yard in the summer or shovel your driveway in the winter?
4. Do you set your indoor lights on a timer?
1. Do not give information over the phone to strangers.
2. Do not keep cash in your home.
3. Are bikes, ladders and equipment kept inside and not in the yard?
4. Do you keep the front doors and windows locked while you are in the yard?
5. Is your mailbox properly secured?
6. Do you keep valuables in a safe deposit box?
7. Do you keep a list of emergency numbers by your phone and teach your children to use them?
8. Are firearms locked in an adequate gun locker?
9. Consider joining or starting a Neighborhood Watch program. Visit the SCPD site for additional information