SCARSDALE, N.Y. -- Scarsdale Police Chief John Brogan is urging citizens to take measures to safeguard against crime during the holiday season.
Nationwide, one home is burglarized every 18 seconds.
The holidays are an opportune time for such acts, since many families travel or are otherwise frequently away from their homes.
Brogan and the department recommend residents adhere to the following crime prevention tips:
- Be an observant neighbor. Immediately call 911 to notify the police of any suspicious activity in your neighborhood. Such resident reports are extremely helpful.
- Keep all exterior doors locked, using deadbolt locks. Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Make your house appear occupied. Use timers to activate lights and radios when you are away.
- If you have an alarm, use it. In addition, consider installing glass break sensors on doors and windows, window magnets and pet immune motion sensors when pets remain in the residence.
- Use motion detection lighting around all sides of your home.
- Protect your valuables. Consider a quality home safe to store jewelry and high value items. You may also wish to keep infrequently used valuables in a safe deposit box.
- Do not use social networking to tell people when you will be away from home; such information may be used by criminals to target specific unattended residences.
- When your home will be vacant due to travel, suspend deliveries of mail and newspapers, or have a neighbor collect them in your absence.
- If your home is for sale, be cautious about using a “virtual tour” that displays the layout of your home and its contents on the Internet.
- Consider the use of video surveillance on your property; such systems can both deter criminal activity and provide valuable evidence for law enforcement.
- Consider having a dog in the family. Dogs require care and attention and should not be purchased simply as a security measure, but they have been shown to deter burglars – particularly large dogs or raucous ones that alert others to the presence of intruders.