Tips for a safe summer
Summer is usually the time of year when most cities see an increase in property crime. As the weather warms up people begin to spend more time outside and open their windows and doors to keep cool, increasing the opportunity for crime. The Minneapolis Police Department is committed to helping residents be safe and feel safe. Police want to remind you to keep doors locked and windows closed and locked, even when you’re home and even when you’re working or relaxing in your yard, just as you would when you leave your home. Stay vigilant and prevent "sneak-in" burglaries over the summer months by following this advice and other key home safety tips.
When at home:
- If you’re working in the front yard, lock the back door and garage. If you're working in the back yard, lock the front door and garage. Make sure to leave your garage door closed and locked whether you’re home or not. When closing your garage door, either on your way out or on your way home, watch it to make sure it goes down all the way and that no one sneaks in.
- Never leave your gate unlocked or doors and windows open or unlocked while doing yard work or other outdoor chores (washing the car, taking the dog for a short walk, getting the mail).
- Move all ladders, garbage cans, tool boxes (anything that can offer easy access to windows or decks) away from the side of your house.
- Treat second story windows and doors the same as the ones on the ground level. Keep them closed and locked.
- Never leave windows or doors open or unlocked while sleeping.
- Have an emergency plan for escape in case you hear someone breaking into your house. Get out of the house, have a cell phone ready if possible to call 911, and go to a safe place to wait for police. If getting out of the house is not possible, call 911 and lock yourself in a room. Stay on the phone with 911 and wait for police.
When away from home:
- Park your car or bike in well lighted or supervised/patrolled places. Avoid locations that are dark or isolated or near bushes or buildings that could offer a hiding place.
- Never leave anything of value in your vehicle. Even coins, sunglasses, and CDs may be a target for a thief.
- Have your keys in your hand as you approach your car, especially if they’re hard to find in a handbag or backpack.
- Cars that have easy access may be a target—windows up and doors locked with as much visual security as possible (steering wheel locks, etc.).
Always seek help if you are feeling unsafe or unsure of your surroundings and seek assistance if you have been a victim of crime. Remember, potential offenders may also be acquaintances. Most offenders hope to avoid confrontation or being caught, and choose victims that they perceive as vulnerable or easy targets.
June 16, 2009
Published Jun. 15, 2009