Do the residents in your homeowners association take actions to discourage burglars?
Sometimes the slightest door rattle or creek from the wind can put someone on edge. When it comes to home security anxiousness is understandable because illegal home entries do happen from time to time. As a Board member in your homeowners association, you should make every effort to help residents learn how to maintain a secure environment in your community.
It might be surprising to hear, but residents can actually do more to protect themselves and their property than the Association can do.
Here are a few common sense suggestions to pass on to homeowners to reduce their chances of being the target of burglary.
- Install double cylinder, dead-bolt locks on your outside doors and include a reinforced strike plate to strengthen the doorframe.
- Lock all doors and windows no matter how briefly you’ll be out of the house.
- Install bars or lock pins on sliding doors and windows. These are available at local hardware or discount stores. Some mechanisms allow you to lock a sliding window or door in a partially open position so you can enjoy fresh air securely while you’re at home. However, if you go out, close the window and lock it.
- Enforce a neighborhood watch progam in the homeowners association, if there isn’t one already in place.
- That old trick of hiding a key somewhere outside your home is a bad idea. Burglars or anyone who may have seen you hiding the key will know where to find it. Instead, give a key to a neighbor or leave one with the homeowner’s association management office.
- If you’re going to be out of the house for a short time, leave a television or radio on to create a sense of activity and presence.
- If you’re going to be away for a longer time, such as a vacation, take a few simple precautions to keep your home from looking empty. Ask a neighbor to collect your mail and keep the door and porch clear of delivery notices, newspapers and fliers. Let your neighbors and the manager know how to reach you in case there’s an emergency.
- Marking your valuable personal property won’t prevent it from being stolen, but it will help you get it back if it is. Engrave your driver’s license number on items in a hidden area. Check with the local fire department, police station or library to borrow an engraver. They’re also available at large discount stores and are worth the investment if you have many items to mark. Photographing the item (and the engraved marking, if possible) and writing down serial numbers will make it easier to retrieve your items from the police if they are recovered, and will aid in making an insurance claim if they aren’t.
It doesn’t take much to discourage a burglar from targeting the homes in your homeowners association. By following a few of these simple tips, you’ll be creating a safer environment and hopefully sleeping well at night.