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Police Give Burglary Prevention Tips

Maplewood Police issue tips to prevent burglaries during the holiday season.

The following message is from the Maplewood Police Department:

Have you ever been locked out of your home? Were you able to get in anyway? Now think about it…if you could break into your own home, it's just as easy for someone else to break in, too. It is important to take preventative measures now. Here are a few tips that can help you keep you—and your property—safe and secure. 

Check Your Locks 
•Make sure every external door has a strong, well-installed dead bolt lock. Key-in-the-knob locks alone are not enough. Do not leave the key in a deadbolt lock. 

•Sliding glass doors offer easy access if they are not properly secured. You can secure them by putting a broomstick or dowel in the inside track to jam the door or by installing commercially available locks. To prevent the door being lifted off of the track, drill a hole through the sliding door frame and the fixed frame. Then insert a pin in the hole. 

•Lock double-hung windows with key locks or "pin" your windows by drilling a small hole at a 45 degree angle between the inner and outer frames, then insert a nail that can be removed. You should secure basement windows with grilles or grates (but make sure that they can be opened from the inside in case of fire). 

•Never hide keys around the outside of your home. Instead, give an extra key to a neighbor you trust. 

•When you move into a new house or apartment, re-key the locks. 

Check Your Doors 
•All outside doors should be metal or solid wood.•Install a peephole or wide-angle viewer in all entry doors so that you can see who is outside without opening the door. Door chains break easily and don’t keep out intruders. 

•If your doors don’t fit tightly in their frames, install weather stripping around them.

Check the Outside 
•Burglars hate bright lights. Install outside lights and keep them on at night. Motion-detector lights can be particularly effective. 

•Keep your yard clean. Prune shrubbery so it doesn’t hide windows or doors. Cut back tree limbs that a burglar could use to climb to an upper-level window. 

•If you travel, create the illusion that you are at home by getting timers that will turn lights (and perhaps a television or radio) on and off in different parts of your home throughout the day and evening hours. Lights burning 24 hours a day signal an empty house. 

•Make sure you don’t let your mail and/or newspapers pile up.

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