Thursday, January 12, 2006

Police give tips to ward off burglars

Burglary is a crime of opportunity. However, there are steps that can make these opportunities risky and difficult, according to the Holly Springs Police Department.

Your first line of defense against burglary is visibility. To a burglar, visibility means vulnerability.

Burglars hide behind fences and shrubbery. Keep trespassers out while keeping your property visible. Use chain link fences and keep hedges clipped to waist level.

From the outside looking in, burglars try doors and windows first. If you make it difficult for burglars here, chances are they will move on to another location.

Some other helpful hints to ward off burglars are to:

  • use deadbolt locks.
  • not use hinges that mount on the outside of a door.
  • use key control. Engrave ‘do not duplicate’ on keys. Restrict key access to your most trusted employees and maintain a log recording removal and return of keys.
  • use a security service to patrol business property. Security staff should be familiar with your employees, store hours and your business’s shoplifting policies.
  • use lighting as a crime deterrent. Light all dark areas, especially windows and doors.
  • install an alarm system.
  • use padlocks to secure overhead, receiving and garage doors. Have hasps securely fastened.
  • replace hollow core doors with solid ones or strengthen existing doors with metal sheets. Burglars can and will kick in weak doors.
    • Replace weak door frames or reinforce them with steel or concrete. Protect glass in the door with steel bars or mesh or place a polycarbonate sheet over the glass on the inside.
  • protect windows by putting grates, grill work or bars over them or cover the glass with polycarbonate sheeting.
  • secure skylights and ventilation ducts.
  • post emergency contact numbers on the outside of your business.
  • keep a complete, up-to-date, inventory of your merchandise and property, office machinery and personal belongings. Put a copy of this information in a safe deposit box or at a location away from your business.
  • put your safe and cash register up front so the burglar’s activity will be visible from the outside. Empty your cash drawers and leave them open.

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