Home & business safety

No home is burglar-proof. But most burglars are opportunists looking for an easy target. Your secured home is much less “attractive” than the one down the street that isn’t protected. Your local burglar can tell you that.

Check out your home from the burglar’s point of view. Start on the outside.

  • Do trees and shrubbery obscure doors and/or windows?
  • Are entrances to your home unlit?
  • Are openings to your home (skylights, crawl spaces or vents) unprotected?
  • Are entrances unlocked, including the garage and inside doors?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have a problem to correct. Now, let’s look at your home from the inside.

  • Are exterior doors secured using a deadbolt lock, minimum one-inch thick?
  • Does the basement door have extra protection, such as a padlock?
  • Does the garage door lock?
  • Does the garage entrance to your home have a deadbolt lock (with a minimum one-inch throw)?
  • Are all exterior doors (including the garage) strong enough to withstand excessive force? Exterior doors should be solid wood or metal.
  • Are all strike plates and frames for each door strong enough to withstand excessive force?
  • Are sliding doors and windows secure against forced locks and/or lifting out of their frames?
  • Are hinges pinned to prevent removal?
  • Is there a peephole viewer (180 degrees) on the main entrance door?
  • Are double hung windows secured with a pin or extra lock to discourage jimmying?
  • Do the casement window latches work properly, without excess play?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you have a problem to correct. To further protect your belongings and help recover stolen items:

  • Clearly mark your valuables with an identifying number. The Police Department has two engravers available for check out.
  • Make a list of your valuables including description, model and serial numbers.
  • Take photos or video tape valuables such as art, jeweler and electronic equipment.
  • Place the list and photos in a safe place.
  • Establish a security closet inside your house for storing valuables. The closet door should be as secure as your exterior doors, with a deadbolt lock and pinned hinges on a solid wood door.
  • Post your house number clearly and keep it well lighted at night. This will help emergency personnel responding in case of an emergency, as well as assist in the reporting of one.
  • Be a good neighbor. Watch out for suspicious activity on your block and call for help immediately when your observe it.

Now that you know what to look for in securing your home, find out how. The Bartlesville Police Department can show you the techniques to use to “pass” your security survey. The Police Department offers the service of conducting a free security survey upon request. For an appointment call 918-338-4028.

REMEMBER, no home is burglar-proof, but experience has shown you can reduce your chances of being burglarized by reducing easy opportunities.

Four rules of personal safety

1. Prevention

How to reduce the chances of being a victim:

  • The single most important thing in crime prevention is staying alert and aware of what is going on around you and your surroundings.
  • We can and should incorporate a 2,500-year-old Chinese saying that is still used by the Chinese and is included in the U.S. Marine Corp. training manual: “A commander may be forgiven for being defeated in battle, but never for being surprised.” To some extent alertness is an inherent personality trait. However, it can be learned and improved upon if we accept the fact that we live in a world filled with danger.
  • Know what’s behind you and pay particular attention to anything out of place. Develop eyes in the back of your head.

2. Avoidance

How to avoid a dangerous situation:

  • Don’t allow your mind to wander, thinking about your job or all the things you have to do, when walking or driving. When you are angry, frustrated, depressed, unusually happy and carefree or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your chances of being a victim increase.
  • Your strongest ally in a confrontation is your brain. When you lose your keen sense of awareness, through distraction or chemicals, you lose vision. When you are in “your own little world” you become an easy target for an assailant. The attacker will use the element of surprise and opportunity. Don’t give them this advantage.
  • Be assertive in your actions and the way you walk. Give the appearance that you know what you are doing and where you are going.
  • Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid that person or leave the area.
  • Know the neighborhoods where you live, work and shop.
  • Know the locations of police stations, fire stations, public telephones and restaurants or stores that are open late.

3. Escape

Do what ever it takes to get away:

  • Make as much noise as possible to attract attention to yourself and your assailant. Chances are the attacker will be surprised at your actions and want to get away.
4. Combat

If you can’t escape, fight.

  • Car or house keys to the face, especially the eyes
  • Pen or pencil to the throat
  • Open hand strikes to the nose or chin
  • Kick or grab the groin area
  • Stomp instep of the attackers foot or scrape the shins

Follow these simple rules and your chances of becoming a victim decrease. Immediately call the police to report suspicious incidents.