“Oh the weather outside is frightful…” Winter weather can conjure up images of cozying up indoors with a hot bowl of soup, a mug of hot chocolate, and a warm blanket. Braving the cold can be a daunting task. While crime decreases overall during the winter months, certain factors such as increased utility costs and seasonal unemployment can engender a different kind of desperation.
Time Your Lights: With darkness falling long before most people get home from work, set some of your home lights to a timer. Keep your blinds closed so burglars can’t notice the ruse.
Close Your Blinds: This one is worth repeating. With the increased darkness, open blinds when you are home is an advertisement to anyone passing by. You can’t see out, but they can see in to your new plasma screen TV, expensive laptop, or pricey portable coffee maker.
Secure All Doors and Windows: While leaving a window open in sub-freezing temperatures isn’t a risk, forgetting to lock them is. Lock your windows and doors, including the interior door from the garage to your home. Reinforce the security of sliding doors by laying a wooden dowel or two-by-four in the groove.
Don’t Hide a Key: This is a golden ticket for burglars. It’s a risky enough measure during the warmer months, but what about after snowfall? If you need to dig around for the spare key even once, the conspicuous patterns in the snow is a give-away.
Secure Your Yard: Avoid giving burglars extra coverage. If you notice overgrown shrubs and trees now, add it to your maintenance list for the warmer months. Keep things well-lit during all seasons and consider installing a motion-sensitive floodlight.
Know Your Neighbors: Neighborhoods that are closer-knit are more likely to keep an eye out for one another and notice suspicious persons. If you don’t know your neighbors yet, fight cabin fever by hosting an indoor block party!
Report Anything Suspicious: Odd footprints in the snow at your neighbor’s house? Give them a call. At your own home? Let the police know. Police are more likely to drive through neighborhoods with reported crimes, but alert them to suspicious actions and they’d be happy to drive through the neighborhood to keep an eye on things.