Safety Reminders for Your Home

Earlier this month, a PSP member came home to an intruder in her home. It was after she had put her toddler down for a nap that she discovered him hiding in her bathroom. The intruder was able to force his way into her apartment because the lock had not been deadbolted. This is a reminder to the community that locking the knob or lever lock is not enough to protect against break-ins and should never be relied upon as the main security lock. 



We would like to take this opportunity to remind you about the proactive measures you can take to keep your home and family safe.

An alarming story, right? Okay — deep breath, exhale.

There are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your home. Here are some reminders about keeping your home safe in a big city.



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  • Lock your home whether you are at home or away.
  • Get good locks, deadbolts preferred. If you don’t have good locks, upgrade (you can talk to one of these PSP member recommended locksmiths:
  • If you are in a building, make sure that the locks to the building are secure. Get the landlord or building to upgrade to metal plates put on doors so they can’t be opened easily.
  • Do not let anyone in the building you don’t know. Be wary of the vague “I forgot my keys” if you live in a big building. Send reminders to your building that folks NOT buzz in anyone they don’t know.
  • Close all windows when you leave the house.
  • If you have a glass backdoor consider replacing it or adding a storm door to make entry more difficult. Similarly, think about adding storm windows as well.

When break-ins happen perpetrators most often gain entry by:

  • Front doors left open, unsecured.
  • Unlocked rear windows
  • Fire escape windows
  • Forcing locked doors, mainly the front, due to inadequate locks.



  • Call 911 immediately if you have a break-in. Often perpetrators are still in the vicinity. Waiting to call 911 can decrease the chances of catching perpetrators.
  • There is more safety information on the Park Slope Parents website including stranger danger, safety in Prospect Park safety, street harassment, kids riding the subway alone, and more:



  • Secure all windows and doors, even if it’s only for a moment. Air conditioners/window fans should be secured to the window opening to prevent being pulled out or pushed in.
  • Keep your blinds and curtains closed when you’re gone.
  • Install and lock a secondary locks.
  • Do not leave your electronics (laptops, iPods, etc) near your windows in plain view.
  • Install only FDNY approved safety gates on fire escapes or ground level windows.
  • Avoid keeping large sums of money and jewelry in your home. If possible, utilize safes and lock boxes to help prevent theft of your personal items.
  • Remember that some windows open up as well as down.



  • Be alert for strange people in your building, around your home and around your neighbor's homes. DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL 911 to report any unusual behavior observed.  All calls will be kept confidential.
  • If you observe unfamiliar people who are attempting to enter your location, notify police to investigate. Especially if they are attempting to enter the building immediately behind you.
  • If you see a person and/or vehicle on your block for an extended amount of time loitering with no apparent purpose, CALL 911 to make a report. Please make note of important vehicle information, such as license plate, car model, and color.
  • Please refrain from posting any non-official information/descriptions of wanted person(s)/vehicles on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter etc. as it could interfere with ongoing investigations. Instead, please supply any information to your local precinct.
  • If you have any information regarding a burglary please contact your local precinct detective squad.



The NYPD has programs to register your electronics so that stolen items might be recovered (more here: You can also obtain stickers on your car so that that if it's being driven during 1am and 5am, the police have the right to stop the driver. There are other great safety initiatives too, stickers they can put on bikes, stickers on older people's vehicles, so that if someone 25 and younger is driving the car they can be stopped, etc.

If you are a victim of any crime, no matter how petty, please report it. Find out more here about what to do:



In the end remember that material things are always replaceable, but people aren't. Be safe and don't try to fight or chase an attacker.



This incident took place in the 72nd precinct and from what this mom told me they’ve been very helpful. The folks at the 78th Precinct have also been really helpful over the years.


Made it this far? Great! Thanks for reading, listening, and being a great member of this community. If we all work together we can help ourselves, neighbors and kids be safer!