Prevent burglaries – Lock your doors and windows!
As the warm weather is upon us, many of us will be leaving more doors and windows open to let in the warm fresh air. When leaving your homes or apartments in this warmer weather, please remember that doors and windows should be shut and locked if you are leaving your residence unoccupied. It is not only important to lock your doors and windows, but also patio doors are just as susceptible to the opportunistic burglars who know this is what the warmer weather brings and they are looking for those easy targets. Every spring and summer, Madison Police Officers respond to burglaries that could have been prevented if a door or window had been shut and locked.
If you must leave a window or patio door open for ventilation, consider investing in a window guard or stopper. Window guards are typically available at most hardware stores and allow slider windows and patio doors to only be opened a small amount. If you are renting consider asking your landlord to install window locks for you. It is important to be aware that some burglaries do occur when residents are at home, day and night, so these types of locks would be added safety features and provide a sense of safety and security in your home.
Other burglary safety and prevention tips to consider during the warmer weather:
Keep your garage doors closed even when you are home, and car doors locked.
If you will be out of town have a neighbor or friend look in on the house or apartment, collect the mail, newspapers and flyers and have someone put your trash can out on the curb and return it on trash day.
Use a variety of timers throughout the residence to activate lights in deferent rooms and keep a radio or TV on when you're not home. Lighting in general may help deter people as they no longer have the ability to move around under the cloak of darkness.
It is also important to mark desirable property such as TV's, laptops, game systems, with initials or other identification numbers, photograph jewelry, and keep a log of serial numbers for valuable electronics.
Most importantly, if you see someone suspicious in your neighborhood, your apartment building, yours or your neighbor's backyard, call police immediately. Burglars, especially in the downtown area will carry backpacks to store the stolen property and will often check to see if people are home by ringing the doorbell or knocking first and peeking inside front and back windows.
Enjoy the warmer weather and don't let a burglar spoil your summer!
Detective Linda Trevarthen, Burglary Crimes Unit Central District