There are several crimes that are repeatedly perpetrated on homeowners that can be prevented or greatly reduced by implementing simple safety measures. 123HELP APP team is pleased to provide tips to help reduce residential crime for our APP users.
Protect Your Mail
Even in the age of the Internet, mail theft continues to be a problem because unsecured postal mailboxes are easy targets. One sure way to keep thieves from stealing your mail, checks, credit card offers, and personal information is to use a security mailbox that requires a key to open the box. These mailboxes are fastened to the wall or a post with substantial screws. Stealing or tampering with US mail is a federal crime. Breaking into a secure mailbox demonstrates planning and intent on the part of a thief and that makes conviction easier when they are caught. Also, having a locked mailbox forces most opportunistic thieves to move on to easier unsecured targets.
Don’t Keep A Garage Opener in Your Car
Any thief who breaks into your car can easily grab your remote for easy access into your garage and often into your home. This isn’t just a problem when your car is parked in the driveway; the registration card in your glove box provides information including your address.
Give up the remote on your visor and buy a keychain remote instead. You can easily take it with you every time you leave the car. Hardware stores only stock a small selection of remotes, more are available online. You might want to check with your 123HELP-approved locksmith for assistance in providing specialty garage door remotes.
Lock Up the Overhead Door
Many families “lock” their overhead garage door when they go on vacation by unplugging the opener. That’s a good idea. Physically locking it is even better. Here’s why, an unplugged opener won’t prevent a burglar who has entered the house from opening the garage door from inside, backing a van into the garage, and using it as a loading dock for his plunder. Make a burglar’s job more difficult and time-consuming by locking the door itself. If your door doesn’t have a lockable latch, drill a hole in the track just above one of the rollers and slip in a padlock.
Install Entry Door Reinforcement Hardware
You can spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy “pick-proof” deadbolt for a so-called burglar-proof front door. But that won’t stop most burglars. The truth is most burglars don’t know how to pick a lock. Instead, they can quickly gain entry with one well-placed kick or body slam that splits the doorjamb allowing the door to pop open, so they can simply walk right in. Your money and efforts are better spent reinforcing your door-jam and deadbolt strike plate. Once again, a 123HELP APP approved locksmith can assist with improving your security. Another alternative would service assistance are the services of a 123HELP-approved handyman service.
Keep Spare House Keys in a Lock Box
Hiding a house key is risky business. Clever (or lucky) burglars sometimes find hidden keys because most homeowners use the same hiding patterns, under the doormat, a flowerpot, or front porch decoration. Insurance companies may refuse to cover your losses if there’s no sign of forced entry. The answer is a combination lockbox that can be secured to a fence post or on your house in an inconspicuous location. The combination boxes come with short, wimpy screws provided by the manufacturer. A crook can pry off the box, take it home, and patiently see it open. Instead, use four longer stainless-steel screws to make removal very difficult.
Be Smart with Your Use of Social Media
Social media is a fantastic tool, one that works great for staying in touch with friends and for sharing travel experiences and photos. Just be sure to do this after your trip is over.
Social media is a public platform. Don’t share travel plans unless you’re comfortable with your entire social media community knowing about them. Social media accounts default to a public setting allowing criminals to search for keywords like a trip, travel, vacation, and out of town to find descriptions of the dates and times that people will be leaving their homes vacant. To avoid these concerns, simply wait until after your trip to share information about your travel.
The 123HELP APP team encourages you to take these and other steps to protect your home and family. Remember, if you need assistance to implement any of these procedures you can count on locksmiths or handyman services that are approved by the 123HELP APP.