A burglary is reported every 15 seconds in the United States. Here in Naperville, it is important to remember that while ours is a safe community, it’s not a crime-free community. Crime can happen anywhere, so it’s important for all of us must take proactive steps to protect our homes and build safer neighborhoods.
This March, as part of our Safer Naper campaign, we want to provide practical tips to help residents secure their homes and the contents within them.
The “9PM Routine” is a great way to get yourself into the habit of securing your property. Make it part of your “9PM Routine” to turn on exterior lights and leave them on until dawn. Make sure to close and lock all exterior doors and windows and don’t forget to close garage doors and lock the service door from your garage to your house. Remove any valuables from vehicles left outside overnight and make sure the vehicle is locked. NEVER leave your keys or garage door opener in your vehicle.
Don’t forget that it doesn’t have to be nighttime to take these proactive steps. Make them part of your everyday routine, too.
When it comes to securing valuables inside the home, we are often asked where a person should hide valuables. Let’s first start by talking about where not to hide them. While there is no guaranteed foolproof hiding spot(s), there are places in a home that should be avoided such as the master bedroom or master bedroom closet. Nightstands, dresser drawers, jewelry boxes, and portable safes should also be avoided. Old clichés of hiding valuables under mattresses, in freezers or in or behind toilet tanks also should be avoided.
Without specifically identifying locations or hiding spots, it is best to store valuables in uncommon places. Just remember where you hid them! Also, a high-quality, heavy-duty safe bolted to the ground is considered a good option. When anchored properly, it can be extremely difficult to take out of a home as well as time consuming for a burglar to pry open.
Keeping proper documentation on items of high value is important. Receipts, appraisals, photos, serial numbers and any other identifiably features on high-end pieces could aid in recovery if a theft occurs.
Firearms in the home should be properly stored as well. Firearms are often targeted in residential burglaries, and easy access to firearms can lead to tragic consequences. If you own a firearm, properly securing your firearm when not in use is the number one way to prevent accidents in the home. The right safe storage solution is different for everyone. Whichever method is chosen, it must provide an adequate level of protection to prevention unauthorized persons from accessing the firearm.
Firearm safety kits that include a cable-style gun lock and safety information are available free of charge to Naperville residents at the police department front desk during normal business hours while supplies last.
For more on this critical crime prevention topic, the Naperville Police Department will be hosting three home safety/burglary prevention presentations, which will provide strategies to make your home a hard target as well as answer questions about securing your valuables. Presentations will be on Wednesday, March 30 from 6:30 to 7:30PM at the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St., and on Thursday, March 31 from 10:30 to 11:30AM and from 6:30 to 7:30PM at the 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Dr.
Visit www.naperville.il.us/asafernaper for more burglary prevention and home safety information.
Until next month… Stay Aware and Stay Safe.