In 2013, the Newton Police Department took more than 120 (non-vehicle) burglary reports. The reports include burglaries of homes, businesses, storage units and out buildings.
The Newton Police Department has developed a printable Home Safety Inspection to allow you to inspect your own house to check for potential security issues. Below is a short list of things you can do to help prevent your home, business or other buildings from being burglarized.
- Lock your doors – By locking the doors on your home and business, you can discourage theft and protect your assets. The harder you make your house/business to get into, the less likely it will be a target. Also, do not keep spare keys under the doormat, in your mailbox, or other easily accessible places. You may consider leaving a spare key with a trusted family member or neighbor.
- Change your locks – Whenever you move into a new residence or business, change the locks. Regardless of whether think all the keys have been given to you or not when moving in, new locks help eliminate the possiblity someone may still have a key.
- Install deadbolt locks – By installing and using deadbolt locks, you make doors harder to enter.
- Install reinforced doors – By installing stronger, reinforced solid doors, you make it less likely for someone to be able to kick open your door. You may also consider installing metal "reinforcer" plates on your lock and door jamb.
- Lock your windows – Locking your windows prevents burglars from being able to make an easy and quiet entry into your home/business.
- Turn on exterior lights – Either leave exterior lights on at night, have motion-activated lights or lights which are controlled by a photocell which automatically turns on when the sun goes down.
- Use Timers – When away from your home/business, use timers to turn on and off lights to make it appear as if you are there. You may want to consider leaving a television or a radio on as well.
- Keep Plants Trimmed – Keep any trees, shrubs, bushes or other tall plants trimmed. This reduces concealment oppurtunities for potentional burglars.
- Install an alarm system – If financially possible, install a monitored, maintained alarm system. Not only will a monitored alarm notify your alarm company, but most alarms have an audible chime that may alert your neighbors as well.
- Maintain a record of serial numbers – This will not help prevent theft, but will help you and the police department have an accurate list of identifiable items in your home/business. You may also consider engraving your driver's license number and your two-letter state identifier (example: KS for Kansas) on high-value items.
- Visible house numbers – House numbers should be easily visible from the street to assist emergency personnel in locating your house in an emergency. There are many ways of making your house number more visible, such as painting the address on the curb, installing larger house numbers or making sure the house numbers are lit at night.
- Call the police – If you think someone is acting suspicious or trying to get into a house/business, call 911. Tell the dispatcher any information you can safely observe, such as the description of the subject, what the subject is wearing and whether you can see a vehicle that the subject got into or out of.