Preventing Break-Ins

home-break-in-1Did you know one out of six homes across the country will be burglarized this year? For a small amount of time and money, you can make your home or business more secure and reduce your chances of being a victim. Most burglars will spend no longer than 60 seconds to try to break into a home. Good locks and neighbors who look out for each other can be big deterrents to burglars.
Tips to help prevent break-ins:

Check the doors and locks

All outside doors should be constructed of solid wood or metal

The doors should fit tightly in their frames, and should be mounted with deadbolt locks with a minimum 1" throw.

For your home, install a peephole or wide angle viewer so you can see who is at the door before opening it.

Sliding glass doors should be installed with a "Charlie Bar" or a wooden rod or broom stick in the door track to prevent entry.

Check the windows

Double hung windows may be secured by drilling a downward angled (45 degree) hold through the top of the bottom sash and into, but not through, the bottom of the top sash. Insert a pin or nail into the hole.

Businesses are often the victims of "Smash and Grab" thefts. The best solutions are metal grating, pull down metal doors and some other type of after-hours deterrence. If not practical, removing the merchandise from the store window may prove effective.

Check the outside

Bright outside lighting, especially around doors and windows, is one of the best deterrents to night time criminal activity.

Trim all bushes, shrubs, trees which may offer concealment around doors and windows.

Do not park company vehicle near doors or windows.

Have your home/business street number prominently displayed for quicker police/EMS response.

If you are going to be out of town for an extended period of time, either stop your mail or paper delivery, or have a neighbor pick it up.

Leave your curtains in their normal position, and consider purchasing timers that will turn the lights on and off throughout the house. Interior/exterior lights left on 24 hours a day are a strong signal to thieves.

Consider an alarm

All businesses should have an alarm system. Check with friends/associates who have systems for referrals, then check with several companies on your own.

Ensure you have adequate protection for your home or business, without purchasing a system far too costly for your needs.

Tips to protect your valuables:

  • First and foremost, record a complete description and serial numbers of all your valuables, electronics, office equipment, firearms, etc. Stolen property with serial numbers can be entered into a nationwide FBI "hot file," and pawn tickets are regularly viewed by law enforcement agencies.
  • Photographs (Polaroids with serial numbers on the bottom) or a video of your valuables, can help law enforcement agencies, but even more important, it will be invaluable during the insurance claim.
  • Become involved in local community watches.
  • Report suspicious activity to 704.866.3300.  Police would rather you call and have them check a suspicious person, than to have to respond to a crime which may have been prevented.

Crime Prevention Services:

For any of the services listed below, please conteact the Crime Prevention Unit at 704.842.5117.

  • Residential security surveys
  • Business security surveys, addressing the unique needs of individual businesses
  • Engravers available for loan
  • Shoplifting, employee theft and fraud/counterfeiting programs
  • Community watch groups


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Gastonia, N.C., just minutes west of Charlotte, is one of the area’s best places to live and work with an ideal combination of location, size and livability. Gastonia is the largest of Gaston County’s 13 municipalities and one of the largest cities in the Charlotte metropolitan area. Selected as an All-America City three times, Gastonia’s desirable quality of life is the result of its beautiful natural surroundings, friendly neighborhoods, responsive government and vibrant business environment.

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