Heritage Neighborhood Association (HNA)

Home Securtiy Part I By: BJ Jones


Protecting your home and property is of the utmost importance. The Heritage Neighborhood is predominately safe, but is not without its share of crime. This article will provide tips and measures you can take to discourage criminals from making you their next victim. Please report all criminal activity to the San Antonio Police Department by dialing 9-1-1. Your home is likely your most valuable asset. Take measures to prevent crime in and around it.

Security Systems. Buying a 24-hour monitored security system is a good start to establishing home security, and there are many systems and monitoring plans available to fit any budget. However, alarm systems alone do not prevent crime; they must be utilized properly and consistently to be effective. Get into the habit of setting your alarm every time you leave the house. This includes quick trips to the store or short walks at the Duck Pond. Criminals prey on simple mistakes and will seize any opportunity to gain entry to your home if you let them. A sounding alarm will alert your neighbors and quickly avert a criminal. Ensure your alarm system has a cellular telephone back-up that works even when the regular phone line is cut or your telephone service is interrupted. The cellular back-up maintains your system's link with the monitoring station. Contact a local service provider for more information. Suggested companies include ADT, Brinks, Alarm Zone, and Protect America, all of which can be found online and in the telephone book.

1. Set your alarm for "safe" while you are in your home to prevent break-ins while you are home (sleeping or otherwise)

2. Display your home security signs on all windows and outside each entry of your home these are usually free if you ask your service provider

Front Door Etiquette.

Lock your doors and windows when you leave home AND while you are at home. Being home is not always a deterrent for criminals. San Antonio has seen an increase in home invasions over the last few years. Install deadbolt locks with key entry on both sides and do not leave your keys in the door. This is especially important for glass doors or doors near windows. Always ask "who is it?" when you hear a knock at the door. Installing a peek hole and a strong door chain will allow you to communicate with visitors and help you establish their identities and intentions without allowing them easy entry. Also, teach your children to never answer the door without an adult present. Children often allow strangers into the home, especially if they are dressed well or wearing a uniform.

1. Install deadbolt locks on doors

2. Use keys from the inside instead of turn-style locks on glass doors, as criminals can break the glass and unlock the door from the outside

3. When someone is at your door, ensure they identify themselves by announcing who they are and by showing identification (even the UPS carrier has a badge)

4. Teach your children not to answer the door or give out information about your family

Shed some Light on Crime.

Street lights are limited in Heritage, especially down some of the side streets. Keeping your home well illuminated is the key to keeping criminals away. A fair amount of crime does occur during daylight hours, but most crime occurs under cover of darkness. Leave a porch light on and install motion detection lighting on all four corners of your home. Well placed motion sensor lighting between neighboring houses can make undetected entry to backyards virtually impossible. Front porch lighting is extremely important, as it allows you and your family to gain quick and safe entry into your home. Large lights placed high on the house can illuminate an entire driveway and extend to the sidewalk and street. This is optimal, as it allows you a large area of visual coverage. Statistically, criminals avoid well-lit homes and prefer to operate in poorly lit areas.

1. Keep bushes and shrubs low near windows and doors to make it difficult for criminals to hide

2. Ensure your neighbors know when you are out of town

3. Ask neighbors to pick up your mail and newspapers while you are out of town

4. Use timers or ask neighbors to turn on your lights in the evening when you are out of town; Also, ensure the lights are turned off during the day

5. Display "Beware of Dog" signs on your fence, even if you don't have a dog

This can sometimes avert criminals from entering your yard

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Posted by nha78245 on 09/01/2007
San Antonio, Texas 78245