PROTECTING YOUR HOME AND PROPERTY

Exterior Doors

  • Make sure to lock all doors at night and every time you leave your house — even if it’s for a few minutes.
  • Make sure doors are solid hardwood or metal-clad.
  • Make sure doors feature wide-angle peepholes at heights that everyone can use.
  • If there are glass panels in or near your doors, reinforce them in some way so that they cannot be shattered.
  • Make sure all entryways have a working, keyed entry lock and sturdy deadbolt lock installed into the frame of the door.
  • Make sure spare keys are kept with a trusted neighbor, not under a doormat or planter, on a ledge, or in the mailbox.


Garage Door and Sliding Door Security

  • Make sure the door leading from the attached garage to the house is solid wood or metal-clad and protected with a quality keyed door lock and deadbolt.
  • Make sure the overhead garage door has a lock so that you do not rely solely on the automatic door opener to provide security.
  • Make sure garage doors are locked when leaving the house.
  • Close your garage door when you are not outside to prevent theft of items.
  • Make sure a sliding glass door has a strong, working key lock.
  • Secure a sliding glass door with a dowel or pin to prevent the door from being shoved aside or lifted off the track.
  • Make sure the sliding door is locked every night and each time you leave the house.


Protecting Windows

  • Make sure every window in the house has a working key lock or is securely pinned.
  • Make sure windows are secure, even when they are opened a few inches for ventilation.


Outdoor Security

  • Trim shrubs and bushes so there is no place for someone to hide.
  • Eliminate dark areas around your house, garage, or yard at night that would hide prowlers.
  • Have a bright, working light near every outside door to illuminate visitors.
  • Make sure floodlights are used appropriately to ensure effective illumination.
  • Turn outdoor lights on in the evening, whether someone is at home or not, or have a photocell or motion-sensitive lighting system installed.
  • Make sure house number is clearly displayed so police and other emergency vehicles can find the house quickly.


Security When Away From Home

  • When you are away from home for an extended time, have at least two light timers set to turn lights on and off in a logical sequence.
  • Make sure to activate the motion detector or other alarm system when you leave your house.
  • When planning on being away for an extended time, stop mail and newspaper deliveries or make arrangements for a neighbor or friend to pick them up.
  • Ask a neighbor to tend the yard and watch your home while you are away.


Outdoor Valuables and Personal Property

  • Make sure gate latches, garage doors, and shed doors are all locked with high-security, laminated padlocks and make sure to re-lock after use.
  • Make sure grills, lawn mowers and other valuables are stored in a locked garage or shed, or if left out in the open, are hidden from view with a tarp and as secure as possible.
  • Secure every bicycle with a U-bar lock or quality padlock and chain.  Make sure bikes are locked, even if you are leaving them for just a minute.
  • Store firearms unloaded and locked in storage boxes and secured with trigger guard locks.
  • Inscribe valuable items such as televisions, stereos, and computers with identifying numbers approved by local police.
  • Make sure you have an up-to-date home inventory including pictures.  Store a complete copy somewhere other than your home.

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