OPD: Protect Yourself

OSKALOOSA — Burglars are always on the prowl for the home that is the easiest prey. Most burglars simply want to get in, take their loot and get out. Most have absolutely no interest in running into the homeowner and would do everything possible to make sure they never did. Keeping your home well-lit is an excellent step in burglary prevention. As much as burglars don’t like to be “lit-up”, they also want to be sure your home is unoccupied. Here are some thoughts on illumination prevention:

Motion Detector Lighting — when motion detection lighting first made its debut in the home market it was heralded as a new tool in burglary prevention, a “surprise” to would-be-burglars. Certainly it is still a great tool, but no longer the surprise it once was.

However, a motion detector does provide three important components in the battle against theft. First, it does still hold some “surprise” value. If a trespasser walks into an area with a motion detector, the light activation could be a signal that someone is home and has turned on the lights. For many thieves, taking a risk on a home where possibly someone is home, is just not worth it.

Second, if you have educated your neighbors about your lighting systems, it will be a notice to them when it activates. It will alert them, especially when you are not home that someone may be in your yard.

Third, and most importantly, it alerts you. A light activating in your backyard is an alert to you that something or someone is in the yard.

Light up the House — As mentioned, lighting does indicate that a burglar’s worst nightmare might come true:

You are at home! Putting lights on timers outside of your residence, set for normal times you use your lights, will remind would be thieves that there are may just be someone home and it’s not worth the risk.

Lights on all the time— while every kilowatt of electricity adds up on the electric bill, it’s not always a bad investment to leave some lights on. It can be argued both ways that a light on at your front porch may indicate someone is not home; it can also be just the tool that is needed to expose and deter someone from standing at your door and attempting to force it open. The same goes for other areas of your yard, where they may be subject to a burglar looking for the right access. A well-lit yard may make it impossible for a thief to sneak up and begin his criminal acts of trying to get into your home.

Get to know your neighbors and let them know when you are gone. An extra set of eyes is always a good thing, possibly preventing a theft or burglary.

Don’t be afraid to report suspicious activity to the police. Being proactive might just prevent you or your neighbor from being the victim of a crime. If you see suspicious activity, report it to the police by calling 641-672-2557 or 911 if it is an emergency.

Story provided by The Oskaloosa Herald


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