With Burglars Still On Loose, Remember To Secure Homes
There are still criminals committing burglaries within the 112th Precinct, and once again, the force’s Auxiliary officers are distributing flyers warning the community about the increase in break-ins.
Remember: If you see something, call 911. Do it immediately. We need to help the precinct stop these burglars as soon as possible. We need to help the precinct catch these criminals.
Also equally important, as a resident of the 112th Precinct, take extra precautions to protect your home and your possessions.
The first precaution is to close and lock your front door. Recently, I happened to be driving in our community and I noticed door after door that was literally open. The people were not standing in the street and talking, but the front doors to their homes were wide open.
When we have criminals who are looking to burglarize a house, please close and lock your front and side doors.
The NYPD Community Affairs Bureau has tips regarding your front and side doors, but their brochure does not consider those who are leaving their door open. There are also ideas on the types of locks to get.
A lock of any type can only be effective if it is locked. Leaving doors open and windows and doors unlocked could make you a victim regardless of the type of lock that you have.
Here are some tips from the NYPD guide:
– Check your door and door frame. Should they be repaired or replaced? All exterior doors should be either metal or solid core wood (1 3/4″ thick). Glass or thin wood panels, in or near the door, can be protected by installing polycarbonate glazing and secured with one-way screws.
– Use a dead-bolt lock with a oneinch throw bolt or a heavy-duty drop bolt lock.
– Install a highly pick-resistant cylinder.
– Protect the cylinder with a guard plate.
– Use a licensed locksmith.
– Don’t use a dual cylinder lock (a lock that has a key in both sides) in a residence. These locks are illegal in multiple dwellings in New York City. Although they offer protection, dual cylinder locks can also trap you in your house during an emergency such as a fire.
Particularly as the weather is about to get warmer, please do not leave your windows wide open for fresh air and leave the house. Please make sure that the windows are closed. Criminals can come in through the open windows. For your safety, close and lock your windows.
Here is the information from the NYPD brochure on how to lock your windows and the methods to do it.
– Security devices for windows vary, depending on the type of window and its location. All accessible windows in a private house need securing. This includes basement and second-floor windows.
– The crescent latch found on a double-hung window is not an adequate security device. Its function is to keep the upper and lower windows together. Because of its construction, a crescent latch will not withstand a simple attack.
Pin double-hung windows by drilling a hole at each top corner of the inside sash and three-quarters of the way through the outside sash at a slight downward angle. Insert two 5/16-inch diameter eyebolts, one on each side of the window. The bolts should fit loosely enough in their holes so that they are easy to insert and remove.
– A separate set of holes can be drilled into the outside sash approximately three to four inches above the inside sash so the window can be left open for ventilation. This prevents the window from being opened further than three or four inches allowed.
– Commercial locking devices are available for closed casement windows, however, they cannot be secured in an open position. Therefore, do not leave casement windows open and unattended.
– Louvered (jalousie) openings should be secured, as they offer no resistance to force. Glass panels can be replaced with impact-resistant polycarbonate and can be pinned to the groove by using one-way screws.
– Basement windows can be secured with grilles or bars that contain a safety latch for inside opening.
– For sliding patio doors or sliding windows, drill a downward sloping hole through the top rail of the sliding window and into, but not through, the top rail of the fixed doors overlap. Insert a pin (or nail) to lock.
Remember that one of the steps that neighbors can take is to report something if they see it. If you have video equipment in your apartment buildings, stores or home, please make sure that it is working. This past year, the precinct used video images to apprehend burglars.
In addition to closing and locking all doors and windows, also remember to:
– Leave on indoor lights and a radio on a timer.
– If you have an alarm, activate it before going to sleep or leaving.
– Leave on outside lights.
Editor’s note: Heidi Harrison Chain is president of the 112th Precinct Community Council.