Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Residential Security Tips

After an aggravated burglary (burglar entered the home while someone was inside) occurred in Overland Park last week, we wanted to provide you with a few reminders to keep yourself safe while at home.

·      Neighbors:  Meet and get to know your neighbors. Neighbors know what does and does not belong on your street. A good neighbor always reports suspicious activity to the police. Many crimes are solved because of a watchful neighbor writing down a license plate number or a description of a car.  Never take action yourself—call 911 so an officer can respond.

·      Doors and strangers: Keep your exterior doors locked. NEVER OPEN YOUR DOOR TO A STRANGER.  If a stranger knocks on your door, answer the door, but DO NOT OPEN IT. Most burglars knock or ring the doorbell to check for occupancy. Let them know the residence is occupied because you don’t want to play hide and seek with a burglar.

·      House numbers:  Let emergency responders know how to find your house.  House numbers should be at least 4” high (6” is even better).  Drive up to your house at night and see if you can clearly read your house numbers.

·      Household items:  Ladders, bicycles, and garden hoses become easy targets—secure them when not in use.

·      Garage door:  Keep it closed and locked!  Keep it closed and locked!  Keep it closed and locked!  Did we say keep it closed and locked?!

·      Lighting: The front of your house should have adequate lighting (low voltage or solar path lights, dim soffit and landscape lighting), and motion sensing light on the sides and back of the residence.

·      Vehicles: When vehicles are left parked outside, always lock the doors and remove valuables (purses, billfolds, briefcases, laptops, MP3 player, GPS).  Never leave a running vehicle unattended.

·      Alarms: If you have an alarm system, make sure everyone in the residence knows how to use the alarm. More than 99% of all alarms are false. Make sure a trusted neighbor or close relative can respond to your home in case of an alarm.

·      Report it:  To report suspicious activity, the non-emergency number for the Overland Park Police is 913-895-6300.  If it is an emergency call 911.

  • Get a Security Survey:  A crime prevention officer will come to your house to perform a residential security survey. The survey is FREE and will include more tips to help protect your home from being a target.  Call 913-895-6945 or use OPCares at www.opkansas.org to schedule your survey.

Officer Koehn visits with a homeowner