Keeping your home safe in 2012

Keeping your family safe is nothing to take lightly. Each person that makes an effort to stay safe is helping curb crime in their neighborhoods. I have been a residential property manager for 11 years and have worked close with the Vista Sheriff Department and their Crime Free Multi-Family Housing Program. Typically, this applies to apartment buildings, but the concept is “people living in close proximity to each other.”
While I am not an expert, I have put into practice their recommendations at various properties with much success. Some of it may be obvious to many, but the idea is to educate everyone.

 

Helpful Tips:
1) LIGHT THE NIGHT: leave your patio/ porch lights on at night (ALL NIGHT) and ensure that their is no debris or vegetation that obstructs the flow of light. (Be sensitive to your neighbors that the light is pointed to your property and not theirs.)

The average light bulb costs about $3/ YEAR to leave on… small price to pay.

2) UNLOAD EVERYTHING: Do not store anything in plain sight in your vehicles. The most typical burglary is the “smash and grab.”

3) LOCK YOUR DOORS: The harder it is for a person to enter your vehicle, the less likely you’re going to be burglarized.

4) SPY FOR YOUR NEIGHBORS: Keep an eye out for suspicious persons on your street, in your neighbors driveway or “lurking/ loitering.” Be sure to contact your neighbors immediately or police, whichever is most appropriate.

4a) TEXT/ POST SUSPICIOUS BEHAVIOR: Let your neighbors know about that car that’s been hanging out at their house. Post pictures of suspicious vehicles on the community facebook page. If you don’t have a community facebook page, start one.

5) REPORT EVERYTHING: It is amazing how much stolen property can be retrieved if everyone reports a burglary and stolen merchandise. The more people that report, the more likely that a person would be caught and items returned.

5a) CALL THE SHERIFF: The sheriff can’t help if they’re not made aware of what is going on. Police will traffic an area more frequently if they hear trends of activity in certain areas. We can always request courtesy patrols by calling the sheriff department.

Finally, use your best judgement. Never place yourself or family in a compromising position. Your gut instinct is most likely your best judge. However, some people feel comfortable confronting suspicious individuals. This is not recommended unless you are a trained professional. You can however, make sure the suspicious individual knows are watching by drawing attention to them. A common “friendly” approach is, “can I help you find where you are going?”

If you would like more information on this topic, please visit http://www.crime-free-association.org/index.html

www.crime-free-association.org

This is the official International Crime Free Programs Website with a mission to help keep illegal activity off of rental property
This post has been provided courtesy of Benchmark Property Management. Leasing and managing single-family homes and condominiums is our specialty. If you, or someone you know would like more information about our management services, please call us at (760) 849-4401. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.
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