SAFE tips for Discouraging Burglars

Recently, the Forest Knolls Neighborhood Organization passed round flyers with safety tips and SF Parks Station Police phone numbers. One of them used information from the organization SF SAFE, so we asked permission to use it.

They not only gave us permission to use their copyright material, they sent us another useful document we’ll post later: Security Concerns for Houses.

For now, here it is, (with emphasis added):

Residential Burglary Prevention Tips
10 Best Tips for Residential Security

1. Keep doors and windows locked when away from the home. Approximately half of all residential burglaries are made via unforced entries.

2. To lock a door or window means it is held tightly in place, and does not budge when pushed, pulled, or lifted. Even if a window is open for ventilation, (no more than three inches), it should be locked tight in that position to eliminate movement.

3. In addition to being equipped with good locks, a door and door jamb should be of sound construction.

4. Garage Security: Burglars see the average garage as a not-so-secure cache of valuables. Generally the larger garages that store more cars, experience more entries and exits, and hence more chances for a burglar’s opportunistic entry.

a. Disconnect any exterior electric key switches or electronic number pads that open your garage door. Use either a remote control opener or a key.
b. Bikes in a locked garage need to be locked securely to a sturdy bike rack (such as with a motorcycle chain and lock), at least as securely as when the bike is parked outside in public.
c. Most storage lockers are designed for storing non-valuables. A secure storage compartment has sturdy walls, doors and locks like the entryway of a building.
d. A locked vehicle in a locked garage does not keep laptops, purses, PDAs, backpacks secure. Remove all valuables.

5. Keep the property in good repair and appearance as much as possible. Good maintenance enhances the look of good security. Maintain visibility.

6. Mark your valuables for identification and recovery. Keep an up-to-date inventory of your valuables, include serial numbers, photographs, and physical description of each item. Learn about the Operation Identification Program by calling SAFE. Try not to keep valuables in a visible location in your home.

7. Install a 180 degree wide angle door viewer on your front door and look before opening it.

8. Be alert when answering unsolicited visitors and callers. Do not provide entry or information to people until you have determined who they are and that you have reason to provide such access.

9. Consider having an alarm system installed as a back up to the physical and personal security measures you have taken. Obtain estimates from at least three companies before purchasing a system.

10. Join or establish a SAFE Neighborhood Watch on your block to network and plan a crime prevention strategy for your block. Contact SAFE at (415) 553-1984 for more information.

If you see any suspicious activity, immediately report it to the police
at (415) 553-0123. Call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

Be prepared to provide a description of suspects involved.

This document has been produced by SAFE and SFPD.
For more information visit
Copyright © 2010 2/10
Please take a moment to look over the following tips to enhance the security of your home.

3 thoughts on “SAFE tips for Discouraging Burglars”

  1. The number of home burglaries traditionally spike in the summer months. Light timers and Fake TV are excellent solutions to deter burglars. Also, playing anti-theft home occupancy sounds MP3 or a CD (sells on Amazon) in home while away is a great way to trick burglar that someone is in.

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