It is starting to get cooler, which means the holidays are approaching quickly. Whether you are staying local or traveling out of town to visit family this holiday season, securing your residence should be a priority.

While you can’t control whether or not a criminal attempts to break into your house, there are actions you can take to help prevent becoming a victim of a residential burglary. Follow these tips to help prevent a crime from occurring on your property:

  1. Increase visibility: If your yard is full of bushes, trees, tall fences, or other obstructions, consider altering some of these focal points to increase the visibility of your property. The more difficult it is to see into your home, the easier it is for criminals to prowl near your property. A burglar can hide behind natural and created structures. Trimming bushes and trees, installing a chain-link fence, and keeping your windows clear of obstructions will help keep sightlines clear.
  2. Deter criminals from attempting to break in: A simple sign or decal of an alarm system may make a criminal think twice about attempting to break into your house. If you have an alarm system, make sure to register for the Sheriff’s Alarm Registration Program by calling (727) 582-2870 or emailing Completing the registration can prevent you from receiving multiple fines for false alarms.
  3. Check your home’s locks: Install deadbolt locks on all doors and ensure they work properly. Deadbolt at least one inch into the door frame and install the strike plate with at least three-inch screws. Keep your garage door closed and securely locked while you are away, and leave a spare key with a trusted friend instead of hiding it on your property.
  4. Keep your home illuminated at night: Use high-efficiency lights with motion sensors or timers to expose criminals who encroach upon your home. Choose a white light source that offers good color rendering. Lights should be installed out of arm’s reach to prevent a criminal from breaking them. Key areas for light installations include the front door, porch, driveway, and walkways.
  5. Ensure your house numbers are easy to read: Ensure the address number on your mailbox, roadway, and door is easy to read and can be seen from a distance so that law enforcement can easily find your home and quickly respond to emergencies.
  6. Schedule a house check: The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office conducts house checks for Pinellas County residents in our service area who go away for extended periods of time. A deputy will go to your residence at varying times to check for any alarming or suspicious activity. Call (727) 582-6177 to schedule a house check.

For more crime prevention tips, follow the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office on social media, including Facebook, Nextdoor, Twitter, and Instagram. Together we can continue “Leading the Way for a Safer Pinellas.”

Posted by Sunday, November 1, 2020 9:12:00 AM

Non Emergency Line: (727) 582-6200 | In an Emergency call 911ADA info