When you are Alone in your Home:
- Keep your house locked when you are away as well as when you are home and use deadbolt locks to secure your home.
- NEVER under any circumstances let anyone know you are alone in the house.
Keep your house locked when you are away as well as when you are home and use deadbolt locks to secure your home. The deadbolt lock has a bolt that must be activated by a key or thumb turn. It offers good security because it is not spring activated and cannot be opened with a credit card. Deadbolt locks should meet these criteria to be a good security device:
- The bolt must extend a minimum of 1 inch and be made of case hardened steel.
- The cylinder guard must be tapered, round and free spinning to make it difficult to grip with pliers or a wrench. It must be solid metal – not hollow casting or stamped metal
- There should be at least a five-pin tumbler system or equivalent locking device.
- The connecting screws that hold the lock together must be on the inside and made of case hardened steel. No exposed screw heads should be on the outside.
- The connecting screws must be at least one-fourth inch in diameter and go into solid metal stock, not screw posts. A heavy duty strike plate helps strengthen door frames better than a regular strike plate. (A strike plate is the jamb fastening that receives the deadbolt in the locking position.) The heavy duty plate uses four to six, three inch screws, not two, three-fourth inch screws used in regular plates. The longer screws go through the frame into the jamb making it harder for someone to split the frame when kicking the door. A heavy duty strike plate will strengthen the door jamb and reinforce the lock.
Many burglars make entry into residences through open windows so make sure that they are always closed and locked even when you are home.
Use auxiliary locks: Pin your windows or add an auxiliary lock to your double hung windows. This type of mechanism will allow you to secure your window when you open it (5 inches or less) for ventilation. Newer windows have higher quality locks while older double hung windows are easily jimmied or pried open.
Double hung windows can be secured by taking these simple, inexpensive precautions: Drill a hole at a downward angle through the first sash and into, but not through, the second sash. Then pin window by driving a nail into the hole. Pinning braces the window against prying. More holes can be drilled to pin the window open for ventilation.
Keyed locks are available for windows. If used, master key all window locks and show children how to use them. Do not use keyed locks on windows in sleeping areas.
Visible House Numbers
Visible house numbers are important. They can save police officers, firefighters and paramedic’s valuable time. House numbers are especially important if you live where there is an alley. Police officers and firefighters will often respond in the alley, as access is sometimes better.
Fences: Privacy vs. chain link. Burglars prey on privacy. Fences that allow activity to be seen in your yard are preferable to “privacy” fences.
Trees and shrubbery: Should be trimmed 6 inches below windows and at least 3 feet away from doors. Shrubbery such as rose bushes or other thorny varieties serve as a good deterrent to window peepers.
Landscape rock: Large landscape rock (golf ball size or larger) can be used to damage your property. Small landscape rock (smaller than golf ball size) is both decorative and, if someone walks on them, will be easily heard.
When you are on Vacation
Do not leave messages indicating that you are out of town on your mailbox, phone or answering machine.
Suspend paper and mail deliveries when going out of town; or have a friend or neighbor pick up newspapers, mail, and flyers from your yard or door.
Call your local police station to place your house on vacation watch so that officers can keep an eye on you house during your absence.
Lighting and Electronic Timers
Use electric timers inside your home to turn on lights, T.V. or radios during your absence.
At night or if away, lower window shades, keep lights on in at least 2 locations
Motion detector lights are very effective in deterring crime. They also light up your driveway or entry doors when you are leaving or coming home.
Dusk to dawn lighting is a strong deterrent against criminal activity, and it constantly lights up your entry doors and possible obstacles that would otherwise be unseen.
Landscape lighting is low voltage lighting that can highlight your property line, light up your sidewalk and also light up the exterior of your windows – making your home a less attractive target to night time burglars.
Keep your vehicle locked, even when parked in front of your home.
- Don’t leave anything of value in the vehicle; take them with you or lock in the trunk. This is especially true for a purse, IPod, GPS, computer case, or money.
- Keep your house key and vehicle key separate.
- Remove your garage door opener from your vehicle when parked in your driveway or on the street.
- Always keep a copy of your vehicle registration, license number and VIN on you.
- Do not warm up your vehicle in the morning without you being in it.
- Park your vehicle in areas that are highly visible and well lit.
- Never hide a second set of keys inside your vehicle.
- Approach your parked vehicle from the passenger side - this gives you the opportunity to observe under your vehicle while walking.
- Interior lighting using light timers makes a home look occupied. Good lights to leave on are bedroom and/or bathroom lights.