Close all windows and doors and keep them locked. Home burglars are opportunists. Leaving a door or window open makes it easier for them to enter your house.
Secure sliding glass doors with a metal rod or something sturdy in the track. Installing vertical bolts will also help prevent burglars from forcing the door open or lifting it off the track.
Always lock the door to an attached garage. Don’t rely on your automatic garage door opener for security.
Keep the perimeter of your home well lit. Installing low voltage outdoor lighting is a cost-effective way to discourage intruders, as well as highlight a house. Outdoor motion sensor lighting may also be a good idea.
Never leave clues when you are away on a trip. Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway or park in front of your home.
Keep some shades and blinds up and curtains open to make it look like someone is at home.
Create the illusion that you are home. Use timers on lights, radios and TV’s. Making your residence appear occupied, even when no one is home, will deter thieves.
Never leave a message on your answering machine telling people you aren’t home.
Keep your bushes and trees well trimmed away from entrances and walkways. Hedges provide a hiding place for burglars who need only a minute to break in through a window or door.
Organize a community watch program with your neighbors to protect your neighborhood.
Make sure your house/business number is easily visible from the street, so that emergency responders can quickly find you.
Homes without a home-security/alarm system have a significantly higher break-in rate, so invest in an alarm system to protect your home … and use it. Seconds count when your security is on the line, so keep your alarm call list current.
If you have the same key for all your locks, have one door re-keyed and use that key to give to contractors or visitors. If the key is lost, you will only have to change one lock on your house.
Keep ladders, garbage cans, building supplies and tools locked up out of view so you don’t provide an intruder with the means to break into your home.
Leaving empty boxes from your new computer, DVD player or TV on the curb for trash pickup advertises that you have things worth stealing in your home. Break boxes down or cut them up to conceal what they contained.
If you come home and something looks questionable — a slit screen, a broken window, an open door — don’t go inside! Call the police from your neighbor’s or from your cell phone.