Home Security and Burglary Prevention

Identify Entry Points 

Before you make security improvements, identify those entry points most likely to be used by a burglar. You can do this by answering the following questions:

  • Which entrances are hidden/out of view from your neighbors?
  • If you were locked out of your house, where could you get in without too much difficulty? Secure every door/window you list in response to these questions.

Basic Security Improvements

Other security improvements should follow, keeping in mind that your goal is to make it difficult for a burglar by forcing them to take more time and to make more noise!

  • Exterior doors should be strong enough to withstand force.
  • All exterior doors should be secured with a deadbolt lock that has a minimum one-inch throw.
  • All strike plates and frames for exterior doors should be anchored to the home's main construction.
  • All exterior doors should fit snugly against the frame and all frames should be free of warping, cracks, and other signs of wear and tear.
  • Solid core wood, metal or other reinforced doors, reinforced door jams or jam braces.
  • Three-inch screws, heavy-duty strike plates and tamper-proof hinges.
  • The main entrance door should have a doorwide-angle (180 degree)viewer/peephole.
  • Sliding glass doors and windows should be secure against forcing the locks or from being lifted completely out of the frame.
  • High-risk windows (basement, garage, ground-level, partially or totally secluded, latched, etc.) should be secured sufficiently enough to discourage or impede possible intrusion.
  • Double-hung windows should be secured with pins or extra locks to discourage prying.
  • Trees and shrubs should be trimmed to allow visibility along the perimeter (particularly entries) of the house.
  • Timers (both interior and exterior) should be installed to activate lights in your absence
  • All entrances (doors and windows) to your home should be well lit at night.
  • Your address should be posted on your house and be clearly visible from the street both night and day.
  • Easily accessible windows (basement, garage, ground-level, partially or totally secluded, latched, etc.) should be secured with safety glass, security film or bars to discourage or impede possible intrusion.
  • Motion sensor lighting, specifically directed and focused on entry points and vulnerable areas, no flood lighting and beware of light trespass.

Security improvements should not be made at the expense of fire safety. Remember to allow at least one door or window per room as a fire escape - meaning that exit via the door window can be made quickly and easily. There should also be fire escape routes established for your household. Family members should know where these are and they should be practiced periodically, especially if there are young children at home.

Installing an Alarm? 

Thinking about installing an alarm? Before you do, read about how false alarms are caused and how they can be avoided.