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THE SAFETY ZONE | TODAY'S TIP

Lights and Locks Are Key to Keeping a Home Secure

May 01, 2000

Lighting

* One key to burglary prevention is adequate interior and exterior lighting. For the interior, timers on the lights are recommended.

* For the exterior, each outside doorway should be lighted with a minimum 60-watt light over the entrances.

* For homes with wide or deep yards or parking areas, a high-pressure sodium security light with a light sensor (photo-electric cell) may be considered.

Exterior Electrical Boxes

* Place a padlock on exterior electrical boxes to prevent someone from turning off the power. Keep the key readily available.

Gates

* Gates should be equipped with a hasp, latch or slide bolt made of hardened metal. The hasp, latch or slide bolt must be installed with carriage bolts through the door or gate. Use large washers on the inside.

* After the nuts are secured, deface the threads of the bolt ends to keep the nuts from being removed. Use a good padlock to secure the door or gate.

Padlocks

* Locks should be of case-hardened metal construction and have heel and toe locking features.

Shrubbery

* Shrubs provide concealment for burglars. Always keep them trimmed, away from doors, windows and yard lighting.

Property Identification

* It is recommended that you engrave your driver's license number in an obvious place on your valuable property. This enables the police to identify your property.

* It also acts as a deterrent to a burglar, as many burglars do not like to take engraved items.

* If you own property that cannot be engraved, you should photograph each item individually. On the back of each photograph write a description, the date of purchase and the serial number.

* It is strongly recommended that you keep an inventory of all your property, listing serial numbers, when applicable.

Doors

* Make sure outside doors--in your home and outbuildings--are solid wood or metal and have deadbolt locks. Secure sliding-glass doors with commercially available locks or with a broomstick or wooden dowel in the track to jam the door in case someone tries to pry it open.

Source: Los Angeles Police Department

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