Home & Business Burglary Prevention Tips
The most important thing you can do to prevent a burglary
is to call the police and report a crime or any suspicious activity. For
example, a person may be going door to door posing as a solicitor or asking to do
odd jobs around your residence or business. This individual may be casing
the area for future burglaries.
The police will stop and identify the individual and record their information in the department's database. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood and remember you can always remain anonymous.
You can improve the appearance of your community by reporting
code violations such as inoperative
vehicles, abandoned properties,
overgrown lots, and
illegal dumping to Code Enforcement at
The burglary basics:
Make your home look occupied and make it difficult
to break in. Refer to the Tampa Police Department's
burglary key elements for more advice.
Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave
the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short period of
time, lock your doors and windows.
Leave lights on when you go out. If you are
going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps with
automatic timers to turn on in the evening and off during the day.
Also, notify your
Neighborhood Affairs Liaison and complete a
Vacation Watch Form for your residence or business to be
checked by officers during your absence.
Keep your garage door closed and locked.
Secure vacant rental or foreclosure properties from
air conditioning and copper thefts by using a padlock and chain
security device or by caging in the unit so thieves cannot reach the
Do not allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers,
or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the
States Postal Service to hold your mail or arrange for a friend or
neighbor to pick them up regularly.
Arrange for your lawn to be mowed by a trusted
individual while you are gone for an extended period of time.
Check your locks on doors and windows and replace
them if necessary.
Push button locks on doorknobs to exterior doors are
easy for burglars to open. Replace them with deadbolt locks.
Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special
locks are available for better security. Check with your local
home improvement store for assistance.
Windows may need better locks. Check with a
locksmith or a hardware store for alternative options.
|Don't tempt a thief:
Lawn mowers, barbecues, and bicycles are best stored out of
- Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
- Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
- Never leave notes on your door such as "Gone Shopping."
|Locks...get the best:
No lock, regardless of its quality, can be truly effective.
Key-in deadbolt locks provide minimum security. Ask a
locksmith for advice about your situation.
- Change Locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
- When moving into a new residence or business, have all the locks changed.
|Targeting the outside:
sure the street numbers to your residence or business are visible
from the street. Make sure your business name is clearly
displayed. Also, identify your business name and numeric on
Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light
is recommended for backyards.
Install security lighting around a business. Make sure the
property is well lit to reduce burglary or vandalism.
- Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding
places for intruders or robbers.
- Make sure your door hinges are on the inside of your residence
- If you have fencing surrounding your residence or business, make
sure the gates are in good condition and keep them locked at all
- Make sure there is adequate protection against entry via the
Most windows can be pinned for security. Drill a 3/16" hole on a slight downward slant through the inside
window frame and halfway into the outside frame. Then place a
nail in the hole to secure the window.
- Also, windows can be secured with sliding window locks.
- Do not cover your business windows with advertisements, flyers,
displays, signs, posters, or other items to obstruct the view of the
An alarm system is an excellent tool for home
or business security. It
provides peace of mind to homeowners and business owners, especially while you are away
on vacation or closed for the evening. There are a wide variety of alarm systems on the
- Make several inquiries to different companies for the best
security system available to you.
- Once an alarm system is installed, check the system on a regular
|If Your Home Or Business Is Broken
- Do not enter the building just in case the intruder is still
inside your home or business.
- Use a neighbor's phone or cellular to notify the police.
- Do not touch or clean up anything until the police have
inspected the area for evidence that can lead to the apprehension of
- Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles
in the area.
- Note the physical descriptions of any suspicious person(s) in
- If you have a cellular phone that is equipped with a camera, photograph
any suspicious vehicles with the license place numbers or person(s) you see while you wait for
|Other Precautions You Should Take:
- Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes, or other
"secret" hiding places since burglars know where to look for hidden
- Make sure your telephones are pre-programmed with emergency
- If you have a safe, make sure it is securely anchored.
- Keep a detailed inventory of your belongings through a
Operation Inventory Form. This form will help you record
your valuable possessions, including a description of the items,
date of purchase, original value, make, model, and serial numbers. Keep a
copy in a safe place away from home since this a good precaution in
case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video
recording of valuable objects, heirlooms, and antiques. Your
insurance company can also provide assistance in making and keeping
- Trim your shrubbery around your home to reduce cover for
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies
work. When used properly, it will deter a thief away from your
property. A rule of thumb is no bush should be higher than 2
feet tall and no tree branches should hang down lower than 6 feet.
- Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in
your neighborhood, call 9-1-1 immediately.
- Mark your valuables with your driver's license number an
engraver. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of
and easier for police to recover.
- Form a
Neighborhood Watch Group. We can help you work with your
neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.
- Consider installing a burglar alarm system.
|Home Security Survey:
Your home contains material belongings and
sentimental items that are very valuable to you and may have taken
years to attain. Burglars do not care about your belongings. They
only care about making a quick buck by either trading stolen goods
or pawning them. You can learn strategies from our Crime Prevention
Teams that will undoubtedly "increase" your layers of protection.
Although, a determined burglar will accomplish a burglary if they
really want to. There are ways you can deter the crime of home
burglary with some measures that are quite simple as listed above.
You may also contact your
Neighborhood Affairs Liaison to learn more and perhaps schedule
a FREE Home Security Survey.
Remember the three L's of Crime
Prevention: LIGHTS, LOCKS, & the LAW! LIGHT up your residence, LOCK
your doors at all times, and call the LAW when you see anything suspicious.