Neighborhood Security is Everyone’s Responsibility

Notably, many burglaries occur during the day when most people are at work-that makes neighborhood security everyone’s responsibility.  The following list is a place to start to make it difficult for would-be opportunistic burglars to get into your home.

  • Know your neighbors.  Tell them when you are not going to be home, what to expect and who to call in case of emergency or out of the ordinary happenings at your home.
  • Glass next to doors should be replaced with unbreakable polycarbonate plastic.
  • Lock your doors and windows, including center patios, lights wells, or garage windows-make it difficult, time consuming, or noisy for a burglar to get in.
  • Install deadbolt locks on doors.
  • If you have moved into a new home, re-key or the change the locks.
  • Door hinges should be installed so that the pins are not accessible to remove.
  • Make sure deadbolt locks are well secured into door frames.
  • Sliding doors should have a slide pin installed so that the doors cannot be removed from their tracks.
  • NEVER allow anyone unknown to you into your home. If someone comes to the door wanting to use your phone, make their call yourself.
  • If someone comes to the door asking for someone unknown to you, chances are your house was being cased.
  • Make sure your garage door is closed and locked.
  • Do not hide a key under your matt, or anywhere else easily accessible-burglars know all the hiding spots.
  • Do not leave notes; they are an invitation to rob you.
  • Keep ladders, shovels or other tools put away.  They can be used to enter your home or your neighbors.
  • Eliminate hiding places around your property.
  • Don’t put your valuables on display where passersby can see them.
  • Use a timer to turn interior and exterior lights on at varying times even when you are not home.  Burglars like darkness.
  • If you are on vacation, have the newspaper and bottled water delivery stopped.
  • Mail should be deposited into an inaccessible area or have delivery stopped while you are away.
  • While you are away, have someone come in and periodically check your home.
  • Garage door openers should be kept out of cars left outside.
  • Keep valuables out of cars.  ‘Boostings’-stealing contents out of cars are the most common, although auto thefts also occur.  Consider getting a supplemental locking device, like The Club, to slow them down.
  • Car-jackings are still occurring. Know where you are, pay attention to people following or watching you and don’t sit in your car with it running.  If you feel that something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.  Drive to a place where people are, or to the nearest police station.
  • Outgoing messages on answering machines should indicate only that you are unavailable.
  • Paint over or remove graffiti right away.
  • Engrave all valuables with your drivers license number. If they aren’t engraved, you may not get them back even if they are found, as there will be no proof they are yours.  Things that can’t be marked such as jewelry should be photographed up close and your drivers license number written on the picture.
  • Video-tape the contents of your home.
  • Consider a monitored alarm system.  This requires a permit with the City of San Francisco.  The city is billing for false alarms.
  • Start a neighborhood watch. SAFE, a community crime prevention program can help you get started. They also offer security inspections on your home.  Call them at (415)553-1984