In light of a recent increase of reported burglaries, the Honesdale State Police issues the following tips citizens should refer to in an attempt to safeguard their homes and property.

In light of a recent increase of reported burglaries, the Honesdale State Police issues the following tips citizens should refer to in an attempt to safeguard their homes and property.

• What do you do in the event of a burglary?

If you discover your home broken into, DO NOT ENTER — a trapped burglar is dangerous.

Call the police immediately. Always protect the scene — vital evidence may be destroyed needlessly. Avoid handling any articles which may have fingerprints on them, including papers.

Provide the police with an itemized, detailed list of the stolen property, including any identifying marks.

If the burglar is caught, do not hesitate to testify against him, otherwise he cannot be convicted.

• Locking devices

Lock your windows and equip them with one of several devices which limit the height they can be raised. Restrict the opening to a maximum of four inches.

Most of the newer homes have basement windows of a type which reasonably will preclude entry, even if broken.

Older residences are frequently entered through the large basement windows. Make sure your windows are outfitted so entry through them is prevented.

Equip your exterior doors  with good locks. The most effective locks are the square section dead bolt or the dead-fall-interlocking type.

Most homes have a side or rear door which have large glass panels. It is simple for a burglar to break a small corner of the glass panel, reach in, and unlock the door.

To combat this, install a double-cylinder, dead-bolt lock which requires a key both inside and out. If a chain guard is installed, it should be low enough so the thief cannot reach it.

• Does your house “sound lived in?”

Leave a radio on playing softly while you are away. This will lead the burglar to believe that the apartment or house is occupied.

• While on vacation

Do not allow accumulation of mail, newspaper, handbills etc., in the mailbox or on the porch.

Stop deliveries and have a dependable neighbor clear your porch of all items.

• When you home is left unattended

Arrange to have your immediate neighbor watch your house while you are away. Leave a key with them and a telephone number where you can be reached in an emergency.

DON’T leave door keys in mail chutes, under doormats or on top of door frames. Burglars know all these places. Don’t make it easy for them.

If a prowler is spotted, go to the telephone, dial 911 or the operator and ask for police emergency.

Give the answering officer the prowler’s description and the other pertinent data. DON’T try to capture him yourself. A trapped prowler is dangerous.

• Garage Doors

Keep you garage locked. Undoubtedly, ladders and tools are stored there, which could possibly assist the burglar.

The theft of garden tools, such as power mowers, is also on the increase.

Remove the keys from your garaged automobiles. Close your garage door each time you leave, even though you may be gone for only a short time.

An open garage door and no automobile in view is an indication to the burglar that no one else is home.

• Lighting your house

An unlighted home during the hours lights should normally be seen is another indication to the burglar that no one is home (especially in the early evening hours when there is still daylight but lights are necessary inside).

To prevent this “not at home” indication, a U.L. approved, automatic timer should be utilized. These can be set to turn on a light in your home at a time when are expected to be on.

It will also turn off the light at your normal retirement hour.

A constant light in a room which cannot be looked into from the outside, such as a bathroom, is a good idea.

• Working in your yard

Be cautious about leaving doors unlocked while working outside.

Some burglars walk the streets looking for a home owner who is working in the yard, shoveling snow, painting or at similar chores.

They gain entry through the front door while the person is in the backyard, or through the backdoor if the person is working in the front yard.

Any person with questions regarding the tips can call Trp. Daniel Kimes at the Honesdale State Police station at (570) 253-7126.