By Kathy Chouteau
Looking to up your home security game? The Richmond Police Department (RPD) recently posted home burglary prevention tips on social media to help community members better protect their residences from being targeted.
“During the pandemic home burglary has declined because more people are home, but [it] still occurs,” stated the RPD on its Facebook page. “If you have an alarm, you can turn it on while you and the family are home at night.”
So what are burglars looking for? The RPD says thieves are keeping an eye out for “empty homes that are unsecured with easy access, limited security measures and no alarms.”
A good starting place is to install a video monitoring system accompanied by an alarm and to have at least one camera pointing toward the front of your house and the street. Ring products or something comparable are decent options as they can be purchased online and are generally easy to install.
“Lock up and use your alarm every time you leave,” stated the RPD.
Aside from religiously locking up your home, it’s important to “secure your gates, low windows and other vulnerable targets,” per the RPD. The department also recommends “reinforcing your doors,” so if you’re concerned about the viability of yours, one solidly constructed with a deadbolt is best.
As an addendum to the RPD’s tips, another popular entry point for home burglars is the garage, which all-to-often isn’t locked or is easy to break into via windows. Preventative measures include reinforcing garage windows with vinyl adhesive and installing an interior manual garage door lock. See related tips here.
Motion sensitive lighting on the exterior of your home is another excellent home burglary deterrent, per the RPD. Solar powered, motion sensitive lights are relatively inexpensive to purchase and install; look to mount them over doors, the garage and other possible vulnerable access points.
Another focal point for protecting your home is to “trim shrubs and bushes so that there are no hiding spots,” according to the RPD. Pay special attention to shrubbery near possible entry points for a burglar.
And, of course, lest we forget our four-legged friends being right up there with the best crime deterrents available. A burglar who hears a dog barking at them will likely think twice about targeting your home. Want to add a dog to your family? Here are some wonderful furballs currently up for adoption at The Milo Foundation in Richmond.
“Home burglary happens during the day when people are away from home. The majority of the time they don’t want to confront anyone in the house, they simply want the goods or personal information,” stated the RPD.