Protect Your Home
Home & Business Checks
Should you be gone from home for a period of time the department will inspect the premises periodically to help insure its security. And, extra patrols can be performed at business locations upon request to enhance security. Contact the business office or an officer to request this service. A Vacation/Empty Property Check Form can be filled out and submitted to the Police Department.
In many burglaries, entry is made through a window or the window of a door.
- Always keep your doors locked. Doors are a primary method of entry in burglaries. Use solid-core doors, or metal-clad doors for higher security. Install secure deadbolt type locks.
- Always keep an exterior light on during the night hours. Consider installing motion-activated security lights. These lights will turn on if they detect anyone near your home at night, and will provide a strong deterrence to burglars or vandals.
Safety at Your Front Door
Never automatically open your front door. Use side windows or viewing ports to check to see who is at the door. Make sure you know your visitor’s identity before admitting him. If the person at your door is a stranger, ask for identification to be passed under the door or displayed in a window for you to see. If they are unable to do this, do not admit them. It is recommended that you have a wide angle viewer (peep-hole) in the door so you can check a person’s identity without unlocking your door.
All doors in your home leading to the outside should have dead-bolt locks. Do not leave a key over a door or under a mat. When away at night, leave lights on both inside and outside your home. Be sure your overhead garage door cannot be pried up to allow entry. Leaving unlocked padlocks could allow a key to be made, and the lock returned to its position. Later, the burglar returns when no one is home and enters at his leisure, using “his” key. Mark your valuables and keep an accurate record of all your most valuable possessions. When leaving on a trip: Stop all deliveries. Connect lights to timers. Notify the Police of your absence and have a neighbor check your home periodically. Be a concerned neighbor and if you see a suspicious person, vehicle or activity contact the police.
- Protect your home while you're away: Be sure to lock before you leave and let a trustworthy neighbor have a key.
Leaving Your Home
Going to the market or out to dinner? A residence which presents a “lived-in” appearance is a deterrent to burglars. Never leave notes that can inform a burglar that your house is not occupied. Make certain all windows and doors are secured before departing. An empty garage advertises your absence, so close the doors. When going out at night, leave one or more interior lights on along with outside lights and perhaps a radio playing (TV sets should not be left unattended). Timers may be purchased that will turn lights on and off during your absence. Do not leave door keys under mats, under flower pots, inside mailboxes, over the doorway and other obvious places.
When Planning Vacations or Prolonged Absences
Discontinue milk, newspaper, and other deliveries by phone or in person ahead of time. Do not leave notes. Arrange for lawn care and have someone remove advertising circulars and other debris regularly but leaving several toys scattered about the yard will create an impression of occupancy. Notify the post office to forward your mail or hold it. Apartment tenants should also heed this hint since a stuffed mail receptacle is a give-away when no one is home. Inform neighbors of your absence so they can be extra alert for suspicious persons. Leave a key with a trustworthy neighbor and ask them to position your shades and blinds periodically. When you leave, do not publicize your plans. Some burglars specialize in reading newspaper accounts of other people’s vacation activities. Contact the Cottage Grove Police Department for a Vacation/Property check form, which can also be found on the Downloadable Forms area of this website.
If you find a door or window has been forced or broken while you were away, do not enter. The criminal may still be inside. Use a neighbor’s phone or cell phone immediately to summon police. Do not touch anything or clean up if a crime has occurred. Preserve the scene until police inspect for evidence.
- Always lock your windows when they are not open.
- If you are going to be gone on vacation, consider using a timer for your inside home lights. This will give the impression that someone is still home. Remember to stop your mail and newspaper delivery. Also, call the Cottage Grove Police for a vacation check while you are away.