Burglary Prevention Tips
We need you to do your part to help protect your home. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Doors are the primary method of entry for burglars, install a deadbolt and use it.
- Windows are the second most common method used; make sure they are properly secured.
- Exterior Lighting should be utilized. Sensor-activated lighting can alert you of someone on your property.
- Landscape should be trimmed and cut away from windows. This will reduce concealment opportunities.
- Alarm: consider an alarm system that is monitored.
- Be Vigilant: Report suspicious non-emergency activity to 305-891-8111. In the event of an emergency call 911.
Locking your door and using a deadbolt may not be enough to properly secure your home.
Install a high-quality deadbolt made of case-hardened steel. A good deadbolt extends one or more inches into the door frame, and uses a metal strike plate installed with screws at least 3 inches in length, and not accessible from the outside of the door. Check your current deadbolts and if necessary, replace them, or replace short screws with longer ones. Devices such as "The Door Club" are also available to make forced entry much more difficult.
Sliding glass doors should also be reinforced. A long piece of wood, such as a broom handle, can be placed in the inside track to prevent the door from opening from the outside. If the slide track is on the outside, consider installing a slide bolt along the bottom inside track.
Good neighbors should look out for each other. Get to know your neighbors on each side of your home and the three directly across the street. Invite them into your home, communicate often, and establish trust. Good neighbors will watch out for your home or apartment when you are away, if you ask them. They can report suspicious activity to the police or to you while you are away. Between them, good neighbors can see to it that normal services continue in your absence by allowing vendors to mow your lawn or remove snow. Good neighbors can pick up your mail, newspapers, handbills, and can inspect the outside or inside of your home periodically to see that all is well. Good neighbors will occasionally park in your driveway to give the appearance of occupancy while you are on vacation.
Allowing a neighbor to have a key solves the problem of hiding a key outside the door. Experienced burglars know to look for hidden keys in planter boxes, under doormats, and above the ledge. Requiring a service vendor to see your neighbor to retrieve and return your house key will send the message that someone is watching. This neighborhood watch technique sets up what is called territoriality which means that your neighbors will take ownership and responsibility for what occurs in your mini-neighborhood. This concept works in both single family homes communities and on apartment properties. This practice helps deter burglaries and other crimes in a big way. Of course for this to work, you must reciprocate and offer the same services.
Review the following tips to be a good neighbor:
- Get to know all your adjacent neighbors
- Invite them into your home and establish trust
- Agree to watch out for each other's home
- Do small tasks for each other to improve territoriality
- While on vacation - pick up newspapers, and flyers
- Offer to occasionally park your car in their driveway
- Return the favor and communicate often
What is suspicious activity? Generally, if you trust your instincts, they'll tell you what is suspicious about someone's actions.We've listed some types of behavior commonly associated with criminal activity to help "educate your instincts."
- Any person going door-to door in a residential neighborhood. A person is especially suspicious if, after a few houses visited, he goes into a back or side yard. It is even more suspicious if another person remains in the front when this occurs (acting as a possible lookout for a burglary in progress inside).
- Waiting in front of a house or business. It is particularly suspicious if owners are absent or business establishment is closed (a possible burglary, theft, or trespass in progress).
- Non-Resident going into back or side yard of house. This is suspicious under almost any circumstances (a possible burglary or trespass in progress).
- Carrying property, depending upon the circumstance. For example, if it is at an unusual hour or in an unusual place, and if the property is not wrapped, as if it had just been purchased (a possible subject leaving the scene of a burglary, robbery or theft).
Remember, if something doesn't "feel right" or if it "gives you a funny feeling"- make a detailed note of the person/vehicle and call it in to our non-emergency number 305-891-8111.
In combination with efforts from patrol officers, our goal is to reduce residential burglaries. Your assistance in securing your home and reporting suspicious activity to the North Miami Police Department is a crucial part of this endeavor.