The majority of home invasions are the result of burglars kicking in a door with a wooden frame. Hollow doors and locks utilizing standard strike plates with 1/2 inch screws can be kicked in with little force. Another common tactic for entry is simply entering an open or unlocked door or window. By following the security tips below you will ensure your home and family receive the security they deserve.
Doors and locks
Ensure that the door latch and the track the door slides on are properly adjusted and in working order. Adding a secondary blocking device to prevent the door from sliding or patio bolt lock will give you added security.
Sliding glass doors
All doors leading to the outside should be solid-core wood or metal. Doors should fit tightly in door frame with no more than 1/8 inch clearance. It is recommended to have both a heavy-duty deadbolt and heavy-duty locking door knob with a dead-latch mechanism. If there is a glass window near the deadbolt you will need a deadbolt that is keyed on both sides. The strike plates should be heavy-duty and installed with 3 inch screws.
All windows need to be properly aligned and have locking mechanisms. A window bolt lock will increase protection as well.
Never hide keys under door mats, in flower pots, etc. Installing motion sensors, timers or photo-cells lights will establish lighting in entries and dark areas of your property. Do not leave tools or ladders laying in the yard, they will only aide a burglar. Ensure your address is very visible (lighted or large display), this will assist police and emergency departments when responding to your home.
Get to know your neighbors and join or start a Neighborhood Watch program. If you need to leave a spare key, leave it with a trusted neighbor. Neighbors can be your best protection when your away from home.
When going on vacation inform neighbors of your departure and return dates. Suspend mail, newspaper, and any other deliveries. Ensure all windows and doors are locked. If you have an electric garage door opener, either disconnect power or bolt garage door.
Alarm systems can be a great addition to any home security if used properly. Remember to keep your response call list up to date. Inform trusted neighbors of your alarm and instructions they need to respond to alarms. Displaying provided window decals and yard signage is a good deterrent for would be burglars.
Engrave all expensive items (TV’s, DVD players, etc.) with your Drivers License number. This will aide in recovery efforts in the event of a burglary. Keeping a video, photo, and/or written inventory of your belongings will also benefit you when dealing with police departments and insurance companies. Keep those pictures, video tapes, and documents in a safe place such as a fire safe in your house or a safety deposit box at your local bank.