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Crime Prevention Specialist shares security tips


Last updated 3/15/2007 at Noon

Has spring finally arrived? Can we start leaving our windows open for fresh air? Is it time to begin replacing all those plants that were killed by the frost with new ones?

The answer to the first question is “maybe.” Just as we start thinking spring has arrived, Mother Nature sends us a reminder in some form or another that the winter season is still with us.

It’s so sad to look around and see all the plant life that did not survive the freeze from a few weeks ago. I doubt there is anyone out there with plants that were not affected in some way by the freeze.

During my security consultations pertaining to vegetation, I don’t recommend the removal of all of your current vegetation and replacing them with thorny bushes. However, if the need should ever arise, you might consider any of a number of different varieties of thorny plants to be planted around your home, especially under your windows. Unfortunately, that need has now arisen for many of us.

While pondering what plants to use to replace the dead ones, you might consider any number of 53 varieties of “security plants.” These are plants with thorns; they may be rigid trunk plants or vine-style plants that you can trail around different areas. Planted with gravel bedding, this combination can serve as a deterrent to potential thieves.

Now, as to leaving your windows open for ventilation, what if you are home? What if you are not home?

While you are home and your windows are open for fresh air, pay attention to what is going around your house, both inside and out. Many homes are large enough that a thief can sneak into your home and be out with some of your belongings without you even knowing it.

When you are not home and wish to leave a window open, please be sure that it is only a second story window that you leave open! I strongly recommend that you do not leave a ground floor window open when you are away.

Ensure there is nothing in your yard (ladders, tree branches or the like) a thief can use to gain access to that open window. When you leave your home, be observant of the surrounding area for anyone or anything suspicious. Remember, an open window is an attraction to a thief and it is even more appealing if it is on the ground floor level.

If you have not had a get-together with your neighbors recently, perhaps it is time to have another one. Share information so you can all stay aware and know your neighbors well enough to know when something is not right.

Remember to always report suspicious activity and/or vehicles by calling (760) 728-1113 at any hour of the day or night.

Editor’s Note: The Sheriff’s Department provides free home security consultations to area residents. Call John McLelland at (760) 451-3100 for more information.


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