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Home safety tips

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Your home is one of your most valuable assets. Knowing what to do to protect your family and your valuables can reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime. The 20th Security Force Squadron offers the following common sense advice to help you protect yourself.

· Engrave all your valuables with "Identifying Initials or Numbers"

· Photograph all valuable items in your home and consider extra insurance on guns and jewelry. Store photos on a disc or other storage device and keep in a secure location

· Become familiar with your neighbors and their vehicles

· Watch out for suspicious vehicles. If you see a "prowling" car, truck, or van in your neighborhood, write down the license number and description of the vehicle and its occupants, and report them to Security Forces at 895-3669 or 895-3670

· Do not give out any information about your home or family over the phone

· Do not display your name on a mailbox or plaque - only display the street number. Burglars can phone ahead to make sure no one is home

· Do not advertise that you are living alone. Single women should list their names in the phone directory with only the first and middle initial or not at all

· Do not tell strangers or post on Facebook or other social networking sites when you will be away from home. If going out of town have someone take care of your mail and newspapers or have your service stopped until you return.

· Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors and appropriate locks for sliding doors and windows

· Prune shrubbery so it doesn't obscure the view of doors and windows

· Never open your door to strangers. Install a peephole so that you can properly identify visitors before opening your door

· Keep garage doors closed and locked

· Leave outside lights on at night. Consider timers or lights with a dusk to dawn sensor

· Don't leave valuables in your vehicle - statistics show that 86% of items stolen from vehicles are visible and 75% of the vehicles broken into are UNLOCKED!

· Don't give credit card, bank account or social security number to verify a free vacation, prize or gift

· When dropping off or picking up children at school or daycare, DO NOT leave your purse in the car

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the 20 SFS at 895-3669/3670.