Home Burglary: Your Front Door — Four of five residential burglaries reported in the Foothills Area Command yesterday were cases of entry made by kicking in the front door. The fifth? Entry via an unsecured doggie door.
The front door is one of the most vulnerable points at a home. Number one tip? Lock up! I know, it sounds so simple, but we forget to think about security regarding doggie doors and garage doors and we can forget to lock the front door. Life is busy, we get distracted; however, if you make a daily habit to check these entry points it will be second nature to go through the home and lock up as a routine practice.
When are these burglaries happening? Most are occurring in the middle of the week (Tue/Wed/Thu) and during the middle of the day (about 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.). Why in broad daylight? Because most of us are busy at work, school, running our errands and living busy lives during those days and times. Residential burglaries for the most part do not happen at night, but are discovered and reported when the resident arrives home to find the front door open, the garage door open, a broken window and their property (and sometimes vehicles) gone.
Why would a burglar risk kicking open your front door to make entry? Maybe your home provides good cover. The perceived level of risk to the burglar is low enough and the risk of injury while kicking open a front door appears low enough to the burglar to give it a go. Low risk factors include: overgrown shrubs that provide hiding spots and obscure the view to the front door. Other low risk factors are your home’s door and locks no longer (or maybe they never were) up to the task of serving their function. Could it be time for an upgrade…could it be a weekend project on the “To Do” list to tackle right away and take action to properly secure your home? It’s up to you to secure your ‘castle’ — but APD Crime Prevention can teach you how.
Here are some items to help you with that “To Do” checklist of things to check/consider at your home’s front door:
- Neighbors: Get a contact list going so you can contact each other in case of emergency.
- Start a Neighborhood Watch group — call APD Sr. Crime Prevention Specialist Steve Sink at 244-6644 to get a Starter Kit.
- Trim overgrown shrubs to about 3-3 1/2 feet in height; trim trees so the canopy starts at 6 feet high or higher.
- Porch: Remove items that can be used to break windows or pry or force open a door. Most burglars bring their own burglary tools; however, why provide any if you can help it?
- Strike Plates: There are wrap-around versions for extra strength if that suits your situation. Need to firmly attached.
- Strike Plate Screws: At least four screws that are 3″-3 1/2″ long firmly screwed into the doorjamb/molding.
- Deadbolts: The throw should extend at least 1″ into the doorjamb for added strength.
- Double-cylinder locks: Just don’t leave the key in the lock like some people do; this is a common habit I see.
- Glass panels/windows next to the door: Ideally, these should be at least 46″ (typical arm reach) from locks. You want to avoid the potential for a burglar to break the glass, reach in and unlock the front door. There are things you can do to lower your risk if you have glass next to the front door like add bars, mesh, security film, etc.
- Security door: Heavy gauge steel doors with deadbolts; hinged to open outward (can’t be kicked in). The resident can see out and have ventilation, but the person on the porch can’t see inside.
- Eye viewer: mounted at the correct height for a disabled person or child to use, 180-degree view is preferred.
- Door should be solid core or metal.
- Door / lock alignment: homes settle over time with age and use. Check to make sure there are not gaps or areas for pry bars and that the lock isn’t ‘slipping’.
- The list could go on and on… APD Crime Prevention can help you with a personalized assessment of your home and leave you with a checklist of recommendations tailored to your home. Just call your local APD substation to set up an appointment with your Crime Prevention Specialist.
Property Crime in the Foothills Area Command on Wednesday, August 3rd:
1 Robbery to an Individual: 12900-block of Central NE.
1 Stolen Vehicle: 4000-block of Shenandoah NE.
5 Residential Burglaries: 12900-block of Carrie Place SE, 10500-block of Los Arboles NE, 1600-block of Pablo Court NE, 1600-block of Adelita NE, 3500-block of Holiday Ave NE.
2 Auto Burglaries: 10500-block of Menaul Blvd NE, 3300-block of Juan Tabo Blvd NE.
Stay safe, and think about beefing up security at your front door this weekend!
Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command