This is my beginning-of-summer reminder about keeping your house safe and secure during the warm months.
Last summer, one of the most prevalent crimes in Norristown was burglary, for 2 main reasons. One is that people left windows open in their houses when they went out, or when they're sleeping, or even when they were home but in another part of the house. Two, people put portable air conditioning units in first floor windows or upper floor windows that are easily accessed from outside, but failed to secure the A/C unit in any way other than closing the upper sash on it.
Sure, we all want to lure those great summer breezes into our homes, but screens that can either be opened from the outside or often peeled back to create an opening. When you're out of the house, even for a short time, close and lock your windows.
For old wooden double-hung windows, you can buy a little
thumbscrew device at most hardware/ home stores that fit into the track
above the lower sash. Put it right above the lower sash to lock the
window completely. Put it 2 to 4 inches above the sash if you want the
window to open a bit, but not far enough for anyone to climb in. They
also sell similar security catches for casement windows.
it's really hot, you might want A/C. Last year, the NPD had lots of
reports of burglars simply raising window sashes, lifting A/C units out,
and climbing inside. Most portable A/C units come with instructions and
hardware for screwing the unit to the window frame. These screws not
only keep your house or office secure, they also keep the unit from
rattling if the window frame or sash is old and loose. If there's some
reason you can't screw your unit into the frame--maybe your landlord won't let you--at least get the window
locks mentioned in the last paragraph and put them directly above the
top of the lower sash so the window can't be opened any farther and the
A/C unit removed.
And be a good neighbor yourself. Keep an eye on the houses next door to you if your neighbors are out.
NPD has been doing a great job keeping crime down in the borough. We
can help them by simply securing our windows and doors, and by being