Tips to Avoid a Break-In

Story by Doug Close

There are many steps you can take to lower the chances of your home being burglarized, according to the Orange Police Department’s Lt. Fred Lopez. Lopez shared with me some of his tips for protecting your house.

What practical steps can students take to make themselves less susceptible to break-ins?

“Close and lock all windows and doors.  Don't leave valuables in plain view.  Make sure the home is equipped with proper exterior illumination.  Talk to the landlord to install motion sensor style flood lights on all four sides of the house.  These are relatively inexpensive.  Report suspicious cars and people immediately to police.”

What tips would you offer in terms of security accessories that students can buy for their houses?

“An alarm is great, but not practical for someone renting.  Many bedroom doors do not have locks at all.  Installing a deadbolt on the door is an added security measure to prevent someone from stealing your valuables.  Lighting is extremely important during darkness.  Burglars shy away from well-lit properties. Introduce yourself to your neighbors so they know who belongs inside of the home and what cars should be on the street or driveway.  Know who you are allowing into your home.  Don't assume that the thief is a stranger.”

A big fear among students is the prospect of houses being robbed more than once. How often does this happen, and what can students do to help prevent being re-burglarized if they've already been through this ordeal once?

This does not occur with an regluarity, but it does happen on ocassion.  If a burglar decides to return, it's because most victims think that since their home was already burglarized, it probably wont happen again.  This leads to complacency with regards to properly securing your property and belongings as mentioned.