3. Safe & Secure: Prevent Theft

Take away opportunities for crime

Lock your car and never leave valuables where thieves might see them.

Trim bushes or trees on your property that might offer convenient hiding places.

Make sure your windows aren’t blocked and your view of the neighborhood is clear.

Think about your home, your car and even your lifestyle, and ask what you could change to take away the opportunity for crime.

Lock your car and never leave valuables, even for a few minutes, in the car where would-be thieves might see them.

Trim bushes or trees on your property that offer too-convenient hiding places. Also trim where trees and bushes block a clear view of your front door and address from the street or make it difficult for a person to see out of windows in your home. In short, make your front porch visible and make sure your home looks like it has its “eyes” (windows) open.

Make Your Home Safe

Below are important tips that you’ll want to consider in fighting crime by creating a safe home:

Trim Bushes and Trees

Overgrown bushes and trees give a thief the luxury of lots of hiding places.

Trim bushes or branches away from doors and windows.

Trim bushes down to at least two feet from the ground so a burglar can’t hide behind or stash stolen property under it.

Consider low-growing varieties when planting new bushes; this reduces maintenance, too.

Keep tree branches trimmed up at least six feet.

Consider Alarm Systems

Alarm systems are a good way to secure a home.  Few burglars want to try a house that has good lighting, trimmed landscaping, an active neighborhood watch, strong security hardware and an alarm system. Burglars view this as just too much work.

Make sure you feel comfortable in operating the alarm system you choose.

Look in the phone book or online for security system companies to give the best advice on a system.

Mark Valuables and Possessions

Property that is marked is harder for the burglar to sell and easier for police to recover.

As an identifying mark, use your driver’s license number prefaced by WA (the two letter abbreviation of our state) and ending with “DL” for driver’s license.

Anything that would be damaged by engraving should be photographed, with a short description of the item written on the back of the photo. Store in a safe place, and give a copy to your insurance agent to file with your policy. Police will then get a detailed description of stolen, unmarked valuables.

Start a Neighborhood Watch

Observant neighbors who report suspicious activity can really spoil a burglar’s plans.

Organize and participate in a neighborhood watch program.

Neighborhood watch will enhance the quality of life, while creating an intolerable environment for thieves.

Maintain Your Property

Maintenance and image have a lot to do with the perception of property safety.

Clean property is essential because it tells the would-be criminal that someone cares about the home and the neighborhood.

Set neighborhood standards that discourage criminal activity. Preserved neighborhood character can also stabilize property values.

Use a Radio

When homeowners leave radios playing while away, thieves are inclined to think someone’s home.

Keep Keys in the House

It’s best not to leave keys outside at all. Leave them with friends or neighbors you trust.