A reader sent us a tip on some recent Upper Queen Anne residential break-ins, and with holiday travel planned by many residents, it’s a good time for some reminders on prevention.
Two day-time break-ins occurred on November 9th, both near McGraw and Queen Anne Ave N. According to police reports, these break-ins happened during the day when the residents were away. While we all hate to hear of criminal activities in our neighborhood, they can serve as reminders to follow key prevention steps and know your neighbors.
The Seattle Police Department has a comprehensive list of tips for preventing residential break-ins and burglaries – here are some key tips, but please check out the full brochure for comprehensive coverage of crime-prevention tips and stay safe this holiday season.
Your Trusted Neighbors
- The fewer people who know your home is not occupied the better – only alert trusted neighbors to your plans, and consider having them or house-sitters pick up your mail and paper instead of stopping these services.
- Trim shrubbery that conceals entries or windows to increase visibility and eliminate hiding places.
- Remove tree limbs that could allow access to an upper-story window or balcony.
- Exterior lighting needs to be bright enough for you to see 100 feet .
- The perimeter of your home should be well lit, especially at the entryway.
- Exterior lighting on the front of a property should be on from dusk until dawn.
- For the rear areas of the home or side yard, consider motion sensor lights.
- Light timers are inexpensive and should be used daily, not just when you’re away.
- Use light-timers near the front and back windows.
- Timers can be also used to turn on radios or TVs for the illusion of occupancy.
- Set timers to come on at different time intervals and not all at the same time.
Tools and Ladders
- Keep all tools and ladders securely locked and out of plain view.
- A solid privacy fence can provide a burglar with cover, consider an iron railing or chain-link fence instead.
- Use a padlock, combo or cipher lock on gates.
Alarm Signs, Block Watch Signs and Operation ID stickers
- Alarm-company signs in your yard, Neighborhood Watch signs in the neighborhood, or alarm and Block Watch/Operation ID decals or dog notices on your property tell burglars to steer clear of your home and neighborhood. (SPD advise you back these up with action – create a Block Watch)
- Don’t hide a spare key near your front door; burglars know all the hiding places. Leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor.
- Do not leave spare keys in the glove box of your car.
- Secure any spare house and car keys in your home out of sight.
Being Away From Home For Extended Periods
- Let neighbors know your plans so they can watch your home for you.
- Let neighbors know if someone will be house-or pet-sitting so they don’t call 911 inadvertently.
- Don’t let mail and newspapers pile up – have the Post Office hold your mail or have a neighbor bring in your mail and newspapers
- Be sure your house number is visible from the street, particularly at night.