Springfield is a great place to live and raise a family. As Crime Prevention Officer for the Springfield Police Department, I know that as residents we often have concerns about our safety and that of our families while in our homes.
There are things we can do which could greatly reduce the chances of our being the victims of home burglary.
First, take a look at the exterior doors. Make sure that they all have a good deadbolt lock which has at least a 1-1/2 inch throw. A lock-in-handle system is not adequate and can be easily defeated. Make sure that all locks are in good working order. Take out one of the two screws which secure the strike plate to the door facing. Most will be ¼ inch screws and should be replaced with 3-inch screws which will go through the soft wood of the door facing and into the stud. This will make it much more difficult to force the door and attempting to do so will create noise which will deter the burglar.
Most older homes have windows which slide up and down and have only a thumb slide lock above the lower window. We want to make sure that these windows are fixed so that they can only be opened about 10 inches or so. This can be accomplished by measuring about 10 inches up the sides above the closed window and putting a wood screw on both sides, leaving them sticking out far enough that when the window is raised, it will hit the screws and not go up any higher.
Sliding patio doors are usually secured by placing a
stick in the track which doesn't allow it to slide open. This will not
keep the door from being forced straight up which will allow it to swing
free from the bottom track. The door should have a hole drilled through
the top track and into the door. A pin can be placed in the hole, which
will not allow the door to be moved back and forth or up into the track.
Sliding windows should be secured in the same fashion.
Make sure that there is good outdoor lighting and that it is in good working order.
Lastly, take away every possible opportunity by not leaving out things such as bikes, lawn mowers, etc. Make sure that you keep the garage door closed. If you don’t keep your vehicle in the garage, remove the garage door opener from your vehicle; it is a key to your home.
Most burglars won’t take more than about two minutes attempting a random residential burglary. Any of the above target-hardening suggestions could be just enough to deter the burglar from getting in your home.
If you would like a free security survey of your home, please contact the Crime Prevention Unit at 874-2113.