Residential & Commercial Burglary
A general definition of burglary is when someone unlawfully enters an establishment with the intent to commit a crime, i.e. theft.
Ninety per cent of burglary prevention is physical security. If your home is locked up and unauthorized entry is made difficult, time consuming, noisy and visible, chances of a successful burglary are kept to a minimum. The burglar will pass up your home or business and look for an easier target.
When attempting to improve the security of your property, think like a criminal and go over your entire store or home in fine detail, looking for any means of entrance or criminal opportunity.
LOCKS on all outside entrances and inside security doors should be double cylinder deadbolts with moveable collars. The deadbolt should have at least one inch throw containing a hardened steel insert and protected by a latch guard. Check with the Fire Marshall for safety requirements.
PADLOCKS should be of hardened steel, mounted on bolted hasps and always locked to prevent exchange. Serial numbers should be filed off to prevent new keys from being made.
DOORS (all outside or security doors) should be of solid construction, metal lined and secured with heavy metal crossbars. Jams around doors must be solid. All exposed hinges should be pinned to prevent removal.
WINDOWS should have secure locks. Burglar-resistant glass treatments are also recommended. An example would be the installation of polyester security film. However, this must be used in conjunction with the alarm’s glass break sensor. Heavy metal grates may be used on windows of high vulnerability (such as rear windows). Check with the Fire Marshall for safety requirements.
LIGHTS must provide optimum visibility, both inside and out, with those outside having vandal-proof covers over the lights and power source.* At HOME, CREATE THE ILLUSION SOMEONE IS INSIDE * Use timer controlled or motion detector lights and have a radio or a television on a timers to make it appear as if your house is occupied. Avoid clues that might tip-off a burglar that you are away, even for one evening. Arrange for the collection of mail and newspapers. Have neighbors park a car in your driveway, and keep some blinds or shades open (preferably on the second floor) to give the appearance that everything is normal.
ALARM SYSTEM should be supplied by a licensed alarm company with a central monitoring station. Check the alarm system on a daily basis, and advertise its presence to deter break-ins.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS. Let your neighbors know when you will be away, even if for only one day. Also advise them if you will be having visitors who might be driving cars that are not familiar to them. Also, it is a good idea to let them know if someone will be coming to your home to feed the animals or water the plants while you are away.
CASH REGISTER should be kept in plain view from outside the building so it can be easily monitored and should be left open when empty and not in use.
SAFE should be fire proof, burglar resistant, anchored securely. Most importantly, remember to use it to lock up valuables when business is closed or when you will be away. Make sure it is locked and if it is your business safe, remember to change the combination whenever someone with access to it leaves your employment.
SAFEGUARD YOUR VALUABLES. Engrave jewelry, watches, televisions and other portable items with your social security number or other identifiable label. Consider storing valuable jewelry and cash in a bank safe-deposit box, or a hidden safe inside your home. Most burglars go directly to the master bedroom looking for jewelry and other small items.
BUILDING EXTERIOR should be checked including the roof, cellar and walls. Secure all openings. If there are shrubs around your house, think about trimming them so the will not block clear visibility of your windows.
MAINTAIN GOOD VISIBILITY by not allowing landscaping, boxes, trash bins, vehicles or equipment near building where they might provide concealment or access to the roof.
PERIMETER FENCES need to be adequate enough to keep intruders out, and at the same time allow good visibility of your business by neighbors and police (i.e. vertical iron bar fence or 1/8 inch mesh vinyl coated chain link).
KEY CONTROL should be done in a responsible manner. A master key system where one key opens all locks may be convenient, but it may not be the best for security. Code all keys, keep them locked up when not in use, and do not allow employees to leave them lying around or make duplicates. Change locks whenever you suspect key security has been jeopardized.
ID numbers should be marked on all equipment and stickers should be displayed to make this plainly evident to would-be thieves. Also keeping a record of serial numbers on all equipment may help in recovery.
SECURE equipment and merchandise in order to delay a burglar in his attempt to clean you out in a hurry.
If you DISCOVER a Burglary to your Home or Business
You do not want to walk in on a burglar. Although they usually do not want, or look for a confrontation, however if cornered, he or she may become violent. If you arrive home or to your business and find a smashed window or kicked in door and have any reason to believe that an unauthorized entry has been made, then proceed as follows:
Immediately back out and call the police from a safe place.
Protect access to the scene.
Disclose information to the authorities only.
REPORT ALL SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY TO THE POLICE.
Any unknown persons, vehicles, or unusual activity in your neighborhood should be reported to the police as soon as possible. Always try to obtain as much descriptive information about the person (i.e. gender, clothing description, build, etc.) or vehicle (i.e. plate number, color, make, model, description of occupants) as you can, without alerting possible suspects.
If you have any questions or concerning crime prevention strategies please call the Northbridge Police Department at (508) 234-6211. If you observe anything suspicious or have an emergency, dial 9-1-1 immediately.
Remember to review safety practices for children who may be home alone after school.
Have emergency phone numbers available for children at home and teach them how and when to call for help.
Teach all children that strangers are dangerous, and that if anyone attempts to approach them they should remember to use the three R’s for safety:
1. R–Recognize that there is a dangerous situation
2. R–Resist the situation – RUN, SCREAM, MAKE NOISE
3. R–Report what happened to an adult you trust (parents, teachers, police officers)
Children are our most valuable asset, lets keep them safe!