- 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.
- 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.
- 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.