Basic Home Safety Tips

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homesecuritytipsThe Village of Pinehurst has been voted the safest community in North Carolina 2 times and the Pinehurst Police Department would like to give you the following tips to enable us to win this award for many more years.

It does not matter what environment or community you live in, criminals are impervious to social and economic boundaries.

Remember the basics: 

  1. Lock your doors and don’t leave keys in your cars.

  2. Keep hedges and bushes trimmed so that the doors and windows to your home are visible to neighbors and passers-by.

  3. Ensure your address is placed on your mailbox and in front of your house where it can easily be seen from the road in reflective numbers. This is so Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services can find your home in an emergency.

  4. Ensure that entrances are well lit. Sensor lights or motion lights are a good idea in these areas. These lights are fairly inexpensive and are excellent because they are likely to scare off prowlers.

  5. Consider a good security alarm system from a reputable company. Place alarm stickers on your windows and signs in your yard. A home with a security system is considerably less likely to get broken into than a home without a security system. Make sure the alarm is working properly; if it has excessive false alarms your neighbors will learn to ignore it.

  6. Consider buying a dog and post "Beware of Dog" signs outside your home. The size of the dog is not important. Even a small dog will bark when it detects a problem. 

  7. Use deadbolt locks on all exterior doors and ensure that the doorframes are sturdy and strong. Double key deadbolts are the best option if there is a window or glass door panel near the deadbolt.

  8. Ensure that all windows have locks and that you keep them locked while out or home alone.

  9. Use wooden or metal rods to secure sliding doors and windows. Many styles of sliding patio doors can be easily pried open with a screwdriver or opened with a sharp tug that will break the latch, and some can even be lifted right off their tracks. Your local hardware stores will have ways to secure these types of doors such as pinning or slide bolts.

  10. Avoid hiding keys outside, especially in obvious places. It is better to give a spare key to a trusted neighbor.

  11. If you lose a set of keys, have your locks changed as soon as possible.

  12. Do not put your name and address on your key chain.

  13. Do not leave your house keys or garage door opener in your vehicle when it is being serviced. Keys can be stolen or copied. A garage door opener can be opened and the frequency combination can be recorded.

  14. If your garage door opener is lost or stolen, have your opener code changed.

  15. If you are going to be away for an extended period ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your house and pick up any mail, newspapers or anything else that may be a welcome mat to a criminal.

  16. Install timers on lights and/or a television so your house appears occupied.

  17. Install peepholes in doors as opposed to chain locks that can be easily forced and broken. 

  18. Teach your children not to open doors for strangers.

  19. Avoid indicators that you live by yourself or are home alone.  
         a.  Draw your curtains at night to prevent people from determining that you are alone. 
    If you live alone, don't put your name on the mailbox. If you do, use only your first initial. People can look
       your number up in the phone book and call to determine if you are out. 
    Consider an unlisted phone number or use only your first initial in your telephone listing.
    Never inform unknown callers or visitors that you are alone. Inform them that your spouse/roommate is
               asleep, in the shower or that you are unable to speak because you are expecting company at any moment.

  20. Scan your surroundings before exiting your vehicle and approaching a house or building.

  21. Have your house or car keys ready in case you have to get in quickly. 
  22. If you arrive home to find a stranger or vehicle in your driveway, leave and call the police.

  23. Have a phone at your bedside along with important phone numbers for police, fire, neighbors etc. A cell phone is best because the lines cannot be cut.
  24. Arrange to have service people, salespeople, etc. arrive while you have company or invite a friend over during that period. 

  25. Placing an emergency call: 
         a.  State your location and name first in case you are interrupted.
         b.  State your reason for calling.
         c.  If possible, provide police with a good description (sex, clothing, race etc.) and present whereabouts of a
              suspect (trying to get in, running away etc).

  26. Get to know your neighbors and determine whom you can call in an emergency. Consider developing an emergency signal such as flashing lights.
  27. Be a good neighbor. Criminals often target the elderly and women that are alone; keep an eye for your neighbors’ safety and yours.

  28. A stranger at the door:
    Are you expecting anyone?
    Does he look the part? (uniform, company vehicle, etc.)
         c.  A
    re these normal business hours?
    Does he appear to be nervous and/or scanning for witnesses?
    If you are suspicious, ask for ID and the phone number of his superiors. Is he able to recite it immediately?
    If you are the least bit suspicious of a stranger, advise him that you are expecting company and to make an

    Trust your intuition.