To help keep your home and property safe from crime, the New Castle County Police Department provides the following guidelines:
- Sounds like a no-brainer, but so many people do otherwise: Keep your doors locked at all times. People will actually go to sleep with the front door unlocked.
- Doors should be locked with a deadbolt that has at least a one-inch throw.
- Keep windows locked. People have been known to leave a window open overnight in their child's bedroom. Yes, hot weather is here, but there are ways to ventilate rooms without inviting burglars and rapists in. A bad guy could easily, and quietly, remove a screen.
- Check all your windows; all should have locks.
- All sliding doors and windows should have a block in the track.
- The garage door should never be open unless it's in use. This includes when you're outdoors doing yardwork-it's not in use while you're tending the garden or lawn.
- Check the window A/C units: They should be very difficult to remove.
- Close curtains and blinds at night. This means when it begins getting dusky.
- Your house number should be easy to read, ideally large, reflective numbers.
- Lighting should be installed at all entrances: front, side and back.
- Install a timed lighting system to make it look like someone is always home.
- Make sure there are no trees or brush obscuring entrances, as burglars can hide more easily.
- Don't leave ladders out in the yard because you don't have the energy after doing a project to return them to the garage. Unless you just became overcome with severe food poisoning, you can hustle that ladder back into the garage.
- Don't hide keys under the welcome mat or anyplace else outside.
- Garage door openers should not be visible inside your car. Neither should valuables, even a pricey pair of sunglasses.
- Leave a TV on when you go out at night.
- Never post travel plans on social media.
- Never create a voicemail message that indicates you're not home.
On that last point...it's amazing that people will actually leave a message like, "We're not home right now, so please leave your name, number and a message..."