Security of the Home
- Exterior doors should be solid core doors at least 1 1/8 inches thick and secured by dead-bolt locks.
- Dead-bolt locks should lock with a minimum bolt throw of 1 inch that penetrates a heavy duty metal strike plate.
- If the door secured by the dead-bolt lock has breakable glass within 40 inches of the lock, the lock must be key-operated from both sides unless prohibited by life safety codes.
- If you have double doors, have the inactive door secured by header and threshold bolts that penetrate at least one inch into metal strike plates, and in case of glass located within 40 inches of header and threshold bolts, have the bolts flush-mounted in the edge of the door.
- Sliding glass doors should be secured by secondary locking devices such as a bar or pin to prevent lifting and prying.
- Dutch style doors should have concealed flush-bolt locking devices to interlock upper and lower halves and should be secured by a dead-bolt lock as described above.
- Garage doors should be equipped with key-operated locking devices.
- Windows should be secured by auxiliary locking devices. This would include screws, wooden dowels, pinning devices and key-operated locks.
- Do not leave windows unsecured while sleeping or away from your home.
Around the Home
- Do not leave lawn equipment unattended or in an unsecured area of the lawn. These items can be used to break into a home as well as being stolen.
- Keep all landscaping trimmed back away from sidewalks, doors and windows. Shrubbery should be at least 18" from all exterior openings and extend no lower than 12" from the ground.
- Dollar for dollar, exterior lighting is the best investment for burglary prevention. Dusk to dawn lighting illuminating the entire exterior of the home will reduce the probability of a criminal victimizing your home.
- If you buy new household items (e.g. stereo, television), break down the boxes before discarding them. Leaving the box at the curb advertises to criminals that you have just stocked your home with expensive items.
- Write down the serial number of everything in your home that was supplied with serial numbers. If you have an expensive or cherished item that does not have a serial number, etch an identifying number into the item or participate in the 'Protect Our Property' property labeling program. The police must have a number to enter into the National Crime Information Computer in order to recover the stolen item.
- Always be aware of new or unusual vehicles or persons on your street. If you observe anything that appears suspicious, do not hesitate to call the Bellaire Police Department at 713-668-0487.
- Never leave your vehicle unattended and running. This invites thieves to take your vehicle and is unlawful in the State of Texas. It is not uncommon for car thieves to steal a vehicle from your driveway if the keys are in it.
- You should never leave valuables in sight. This would include mobile phones, purses, billfolds, money clips and/or any expensive personal effects. Vehicle Burglaries can be greatly reduced by removing all valuables at night and locking your car.
- Roll your windows up at night.
- You should use a steering wheel locking device or vehicle alarm if possible.
- A hidden ignition "kill switch" activated while the vehicle is unattended prevents the vehicle being taken under its own power.
- Park with your front wheels turned into the curb. This makes it more difficult for a tow device to be hooked to the front of your vehicle.
- While in operation, keep your doors locked.
- Always be aware of your surroundings and leave the area if you are uncomfortable.
- Never provide strangers with rides.
- Never leave a child in a vehicle unattended, even for a short period of time.
While in Public Places
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
- When carrying a hand bag, ensure that the hand bag has a strong strap and that you are always aware of how secure your bag is.
- Try not to walk in poorly lit or desolate areas alone.
- Do not "flash" cash while in a public place. If you must keep large amounts of cash on your person, do so discreetly and be aware of possible suspects watching or following you.
- Always be aware of scams, frauds or cons. These are very common ploys used on senior citizens. Common ploys used are lottery scams and pigeon drops. A scam artist will convince the victim that he/she has a winning lottery ticket, but needs the money immediately but cannot cash in the ticket for whatever reason. The victim will draw out a specified amount of cash from their bank to give to the lottery ticket holder. This is "security" that the victims will not "rip-off" the scam artist. The victim will find that the lottery ticket is a fake and they will be out the amount of money used as "security" with the scam artist. This ploy is also executed with "flash" cash. A scam artist will show a victim a wad of cash and will ask the victim to hold it for them. As "security", the scam artist will ask the victim for a specified amount of cash from his/her account. The victim will draw out their cash and the scam artist will leave. The victim will become curious and inspect the wad of cash more closely to discover that it is cut up newspaper.
- If something appears too good to be true...It probably is!