Subject: Thursday's BCA Meeting; Home Protection Tips
Date Sent: December 7, 2013
At last nights Bannockburn Citizens Association meeting, we had a good discussion of recent incidents and advice in protecting your home and vehicles. County Police Officer, and our community coordinator, Oliver Janney had a number of useful tips, which can also be found on the countys website:
Some of the highlights are as follows:
NEW PHONE NUMBER FOR THE 2ND DISTRICT 240-773-6700
NON-EMERGENCY 301-279-8000 EMERGENCY 911
Report anything that seems suspicious. If you see people acting suspiciously (sitting in a parked car, knocking on doors, never been in the neighborhood before, etc., call the police to report your observations.
Please remember that burglars will often try to gain access to a home by entering an unlocked door or window, or finding a spare key left outside.
Do not have packages delivered to your house if you are not home to receive them. Make arrangements for them to be delivered to a neighbor or pick them up at the shippers local office.
Do not fall prey to phone scams. If you are unsure of the legitimacy of caller, check out www.snopes.com or simply ask for their company contact information so you can research their claim before deciding whether to call them back.
Lock your cars. There were 96 thefts from cars in November which is a 2013 monthly high 74 of the 96 were unlocked. When you shop, hide your items in the trunk and take them immediately into your home. This is a very prevalent crime this time of year and thieves will generally ignore a locked car with nothing worth stealing visible, and move on to the unlocked one. Park in a well lit and populated area.
Making your home safer from crime doesn't always means having to install expensive alarms, effective home security starts with properly locked doors and windows and visible, well-lighted entryways.
Strong, reliable locks are essential to effective home security. Always keep doors and windows locked, even a five minute trip to the store is long enough for a burglar to enter your home.
To improve security on existing sliding glass doors, you can install keyed locking devices that secure the door to the frame.
Most standard double-hung windows have thumb-turn locks between the two window panels, which can be pried open or easily reached through a broken pane. Instead, install keyed locking devices to prevent the window from being raised from the outside, but make sure everyone in the house knows where to find the key in case of an emergency.
Lighting is one of the most cost-effective deterrents to burglary. Indoor-lighting gives the impression that a home is occupied. If you are going to be away from your home, consider using automatic timers to switch interior lights on and off at preset times.
Outdoor lighting can eliminate hiding places. Install exterior lighting near porches, rear, and side driveways, garage doors, and all other points of entry. Entryways to your home should always be well lighted. Place lights out of reach from the ground so the bulbs cannot be removed or broken. Aim some lights away from the house so you can see if anyone is approaching, or install motion-sensing lights, which turn on automatically as some approaches.
Your home's walkways and landscaping should direct visitors to the main entrance and away from private areas. The landscaping should provide maximum visibility to and from your house. Trim shrubbery that could conceal criminal activity near doors and windows. Cut back tree limbs that could help thieves climb into windows, and keep yard fencing low enough to avoid giving criminals places to hide.
John Hannula and the BCA Neighborhood Security Committee and our block captains will continue to monitor these issues.