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Protect your home from burglary

By By DONNIE NUNLEY
APD Asst. Police Chief
Following are several ways that you can help protect yourself, your family and your home from burglars.
Deadbolt your doors
Door locks that can be easily forced are an open invitation to burglars. All outside entrance doors should have deadbolt locks in addition to existing locksets. Deadbolt should have a minimum one-inch projection, tapered and rotating cylinder guard and a five-pin tumbler lock. It is preferable to have solid core doors. Strike plates should be securely affixed by using 2/12" screws. Hinges that are mounted on the exterior of any door should be pinned for additional security.
Light up your home
Some burglars prefer darkness. The exterior of your home should be well lighted. Lighting should be utilized in appropriate areas. Vandal-resistant covers will protect the exterior bulbs from intentional breakage and an inexpensive timer or photoelectric cell will automatically turn off at dawn. You may also consider using other energy-saving devices such as mercury vapor lighting for exterior use. Trim shrubs and bushes around doors and windows so they can't conceal any intruder attempting to force entry into your home.
Leave your home
looking "lived in"
A home that looks deserted is an easy target. Whenever you're going to be gone for an extended period of time, notify your local police or sheriff's department and a couple of your neighbors. Then make sure your home looks lived in while you are away. Stop deliveries of mail, newspapers, laundry and the like. Arrange for garden, lawn and pet care. Leave a key with a friend or neighbor and have them change the position of blinds and drapes daily. Put one or more interior lights on an electric timer. And, of course, take extra care to lock all doors and windows.
Close and lock
your windows
Unlocked and unsecured windows make it easy for the burglar. But most won't attempt to break a secured window for fear of attracting attention. The majority of windows can be secured by drilling a 3/16" hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and into the exterior window frame. A nail or metal dowel can then be placed in the hole to secure the window. With sliding glass windows (and doors), the main objective is to keep the window being lifted out of its track. This can be prevented by installing metal screws in the upper track and backing them out so there's just enough clearance for the window to slide. Whatever security-locking device you choose, make sure that all family members are trained to operate them.
Stopping crime is everyone's responsibility. When you do your part, you are doing both yourself and your community a favor.
Stay safe.