Home Security Tips

An important step in preventing home burglary and other crimes is to make sure that a residence is as secure as possible. A careful inspection by someone trained to observe security precautions can indicate features which would make entry easy – or difficult – for a prospective burglar.

Defense Shopper urges you not only to take steps to make your own residence safer, but also to become active in your Neighborhood Watch program for the benefit of your entire community. This guide will assist you in your efforts to keep your home safe.

Defense Shopper is not liable for any burglary to your home. These are simple suggestions that may be helpful to you in preventing crime to your residence. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to secure their home and belongings.

Front Entrance

  • Are all exterior doors of metal or solid wood construction?
  • Are all door frames strong enough and tight enough to prevent forcing or spreading?
  • Are door hinges protected from removal from outside?
  • Are exterior doors free of windows or other openings (mail slot, pet door) within 40 inches of the lock?
  • Is door secured by a deadbolt lock with a minimum 1-inch throw?
  • Are strikes and strike plates adequate and properly installed with 3-inch screw?
  • If there are no windows in door, is there a wide-angle viewer or voice intercom device?
  • Are all screen or storm doors secured with adequate locks?
  • Are all entries well-lighted?
  • Can front entrance be observed from street or public areas?
  • Are porch and landscaping free of concealment from street or public view?
  • Is shrubbery trimmed for visibility?
  • Are address numbers a minimum of 4 inches in height?
  • Are address numbers clearly visible from the street and well-lit for visibility at night?
  • Are all door locks adequate and in good working order?
  • Is your mailbox securable with a locking mechanism so that strangers cannot remove your mail?

Side or Rear Entrance

  • Are all exterior doors of metal or solid wood construction?
  • Are all door frames strong enough and tight enough to prevent forcing or spreading?
  • Are door hinges protected from removal from outside?
  • Are exterior doors free of windows or other openings (mail slot, pet door) within 40 inches of the lock?
  • Is door secured by a deadbolt lock with a minimum 1-inch throw?
  • Are strikes and strike plates adequate and properly installed with 3-inch screw?
  • Is the exterior of the doorway well-lighted?
  • Are all doorways clear of obstruction from street or neighbors view (i.e. porch, fence, or landscaping)?
  • Does doorway have screen or storm door with adequate lock?
  • If door is sliding glass, is the sliding panel secured from being lifted out of the track?
  • Is a “charley-bar” or key-operated locked used on sliding door?
  • If your house has an alley, are address numbers posted facing the alley, at a minimum of 4-inches in height?

Ground Floor Windows

  • Do all windows have adequate locks in operating condition?
  • Do windows have screens or storm windows that lock from the inside?
  • Are all windows clear of areas that offer special risk to burglary?
  • If not, do these windows have security screens or grills?
  • Are exterior areas of windows free from concealing structure or landscaping?
  • Is exterior adequately lighted at all window areas?
  • Can your front windows be seen from the street?

Upper Floor Windows

  • Are all upper floor windows far away from porch or garage roofs, or roofs of adjoining buildings, to prevent access?
  • If so, are they secured as adequately as if they were at ground level?
  • Are trees and shrubbery kept trimmed back from upper floor windows?
  • Are all ladders stored securely so they are not accessible?

Inside the House

  • Are timers used to simulate normal activities in the house?
  • Have you engraved or photographed your personal property?
  • Is the circuit box locked or secured?

Garage

  • Is the automobile-entrance door to the garage equipped with an adequate locking device?
  • Is garage door kept closed and locked at all times?
  • Are all garage windows secured adequately?
  • Is outside utility entrance to garage as secure as required for any ground floor entrance?
  • Are all garage entrances well-lighted on the outside?
  • Are all entrances to living quarters from garage of metal or solid wood construction?
  • Does the door from the garage to inside the house have adequate locks?

Home alarm

  • Do you have an alarm system?
  • Are all doors and windows alarmed?
  • Is there a motion sensor inside the house?
  • Are alarm system warning signs and stickers displayed? (Even if there is no alarm system)
  • Does the police department have current emergency contact information?
  • Do you keep your hide-a-key in a lockbox?

Gates

  • Are all gate latches 40 inches below the top of the gate and secured with through bolts with rounded edges and with high-security padlocks?