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Protection For Your Home

Crimes against property such as damage and theft make up the majority of crimes committed in today's society. They are also the kinds of crimes that people seem the least prepared for - particularly in their own home. While you may not be able to completely safeguard yourself or your home from becoming victim of a crime, there are things that you can do that greatly reduce the chances of becoming another statistic.

The first method of crime prevention is through your environment. Look around your home. What areas of your home may be easily accessible to someone who wants to gain entry illegally? Most crimes occur in darkness or where the act is shielded from the eye of the public. Are the windows and doors of your home covered by shrubbery or other vegetation? Are entryways sheltered by awnings or constructed in a manner that would obscure visibility? Are the areas of your property poorly lit?

Plan your landscaping so that the windows and doors of your home are not shielded from public view. At night, make sure that the areas of your property that are naturally dark are lit by some means of artificial lighting: lamp posts, porch lights, spot lights, etc. all of which can be set on timers or set by motion sensors. Criminals will not stay in areas where they can been seen.

Secondly, is your home secure? Most people have locks on their doors and windows, but are they secure? Most of your average door locks are not that secure. They can be easily pried open with a screwdriver or credit card. Many can be broken with a good solid kick. It is recommended that all door be secured with a dead bolt lock. If you have a door that has windows, it is recommended to you use a deadbolt lock that requires a key from the inside as well as outside. However, you must remember that while you want to keep the key readily accessible - do not leave it in the door! Neither is it recommended that you hide a spare key outdoors (ie. under the door mat, under a rock or shell, etc.) While we have all locked ourselves out of the house, it is safer to keep a spare key on your person or perhaps leaving it with a friend or family member.

Also, there are a wide variety of window locks on the market. Shop around and find out which ones are the best for you. In addition to the window lock, some people may place a screw or nail into the window jamb that may be removed but, while in place, prevent the window from being fully raised.

Finally, if your home is going to be empty for long periods of time, you may want to consider installing an alarm system. There are many different types of alarms in a wide range of prices. Again, shop around and find out what best suits your needs. Some alarm systems are connected with a central dispatching system which will notify police when the alarm is activated and some systems simply emit and audible alarm. Some systems are connected to door and/or windows and some work on motion detectors. The type you choose is dependant upon your individual needs.

In the event that you should become the victim of a property crime, there are things that you can do which would help the police and increase your chances of recovering your property . Keep a written record (two copies would be best) of the makes, models and serial numbers for all your electronic equipment, home appliances, bicycles, etc. These items specifically identify your property and can be traced nationwide. For all items that can not be identified using a unique number such as jewelry, collectibles, etc, take pictures of those items and record any identifying marks. You may additionally mark personal items such as tools or electronics using an engraver. Use information that is unique such as a driver's license number. You may contact the Southern Shores Police Department for information on the use of an engraver.

Having the best defense against crime is presenting a good offense. To do that we must all work together: the homeowner, the police and the public as a whole. The police have no better friend than a nosey neighbor. Take notice of what goes on in your neighborhood. If you see something strange or out of place, do not hesitate to call the police. Call immediately!! If you see a strange person, take notice of their appearance. Could you describe what they looked like or what they were wearing? If you see a car on your street that you've never seen before, can you describe the kind of car or what the license plate was? All of these things help us better secure our lives and our property. Don't become a victim; rather, take an active part in safeguarding your community.

For more information on this and other forms of crime prevention, go to www.ncpc.org.

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