The Houston Police Department wants to help you make your home as safe as possible and a nuisance to would-be burglars.
For example, many intruders enter through weak doors. Having strong doors and door frames, including garage doors, is essential to your security. Steel doors and frames provide enhanced security because they are harder to destroy. If you have hollow-core doors, it is recommended you replace them with a sturdier type. There are wooden doors being manufactured to withstand a tremendous amount of pressure from would-be burglars.
Secure windows and sliding glass doors can be secured with a locking device placed along the track. A broomstick or a wooden rod may work just as well if placed on the track between the door frame and the door. Glass sliding doors are usually secluded from public view and special care must be taken to secure them. Bolt locks can be installed to help prevent the door from being opened or removed from its track.
Burglars will sometimes log your departure and arrival times from and to your home. Help ruin their plot by:
- Don’t advertise you’ll be out of town to casual acquaintances or in social media. Instead, tell a reliable neighbor and have him/her watch your property.
- Leave a few lights on or use timers that will turn lights on and off periodically.
- Leave drapes in a normal position. Drapes or shades fully closed give a deserted look.
- Use an etching device to mark your valuables with an identifying mark known only to you.
- Make an inventory list of all your belongings, include serial numbers.
- Stop all newspaper deliveries and have someone pick up your mail.
- Store an inventory of your valuables in a safe deposit box or fire safe, or file it with your insurance company.
- Share this safety information with your neighbors verbally and through social media.
The more citizens heed such advice, the more we can continue the trend on reducing home burglaries, which have decreased about 8 percent in the city for the first six months of 2014, after dropping more than 10 percent in 2013.
To see a home security demonstration by HPD crime prevention experts on best practices of protecting your home, go to the HPD YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n0qtTORGII
For more information on scheduling an officer to perform a home security check at your residence, call HPD Public Affairs at 713-308-3200 or your local law enforcement agency.