Home Safety Tips
Good locks, simple precautions, neighborhood alertness and common sense can help prevent most property crimes.
Locks, Doors, and Windows
- Install good deadbolt locks in your doors, and use them (about half of burglars enter through unlocked doors and windows)
- Use double-key deadbolts, and remove the key from the lock
- Make sure outside doors, including the one between your house and garage, are solid, 1 3/4 inch metal or wood and fit tightly in their frames. Hinges should be inside
- Secure sliding glass doors with locks
- Lock double-hung windows by sliding a bolt or nail into a hold drilled at a downward angle through the top of each sash
- Trim back shrubbery that hides doors or windows. Cut back tree limbs that could help a thief climb to second story windows
- Make sure all porches, entrances and yards are well lighted
- Be sure the neighborhood is kept up well. Dark alleys, litter and rundown areas attract crime
- Do not hide house keys in mail boxes, planters or under doormats
- Do not put personal identification on key rings
- Leave only your ignition key with mechanics or parking attendants
- If you lose the keys to your home or move, change the locks immediately
- Make your home appear occupied when you go out-leave lights on and the radio playing
- Keep your garage door closed and locked
- Use timing devices to turn inside lights on and off
- If you will be gone several days, arrange to have the mail and papers stopped or picked up. Click here for more information on how to hold mail or redirect a package. Half of all home burglaries occur during the day when alert neighbors could spot and report the thieves.
- Call the Columbia Police Department’s front desk at 803-545-3500 and place your residence on property watch so that police may look after it while you are away.