Burglary Prevention: What You Can Do

Burglary Prevention: What You Can Do
Posted on 08/02/2016

By CHPD Chief Robby Russo

If you have ever been locked out of your home, were you able to get in anyway? If you could break into your own home, it’s just as easy for someone else to break in, too. Strong locks, lots of light and good neighbors who look out for one another can be effective deterrents to burglars. Cottonwood Heights has one of the most active and progressive neighborhood watch programs in the state. You should consider getting involved, since it’s easy and requires little time. One phone call to the police department Crime Prevention Office will get you started. 

Here are a few tips that can help you keep yourself 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. 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.  Most importantly, make sure your garage doors are down and call or text neighbors if their doors are open at night. Half of all the daytime and nighttime burglars in Cottonwood Heights enter through an open garage door.

Never hide keys around the outside of your home because if I’m a burglar, I’m going to look under that rock or the nifty garden ornament by your back door.  Remember to secure the door that connects to your home through the garage. Even if you close your garage door, many crooks get into the car in the driveway then use the garage opener to access your home. Garage doors should be kept closed even when you are home. Expensive items in the garage are tempting to burglars. While we all like to feel that once we close and lock our doors, we’re safe and secure, the truth of the matter is that a lock on a flimsy door is about as effective as locking your car door but leaving the window down with your purse on the front seat. All outside doors should be metal or solid wood. 

Remember this is the time of year that we get the door-to-door sales people that canvas our neighborhoods. If they are legitimate they should have a solicitor’s license, issued by the state of Utah or Cottonwood Heights, and you have every right to ask to see it. Watch for strangers in your neighborhood, since there are groups that will knock on your front door under the guise of a salesman, then gain entry into the home by breaking out a back window when no one answers.

Don’t open the door to strangers, but let them know you’re there. There are several low cost solutions that will work with your smart phone to help you monitor your front door and garage.  When you go out of town, allow our officers to do patrol checks at your home. Simply call the police department at (801) 944-7100 and let us know when you’re leaving and when you're expected to return. The officers will pay special attention to your property.