Burglary is a crime of opportunity.
Here are some helpful tips to reduce your chances of being victimized:
All doors that lead to the outside
should be metal or solid-core, 1-3/4 inch hardwood. Most hollow doors can
be easily broken through.
Each door should fit in its frame
with no more than 1/8 inch clearance between the door and frame. A metal
lining on the inside of an exterior door can prevent drilling, sawing,
or kicking through.
Make sure all doors to the outside
have good locks -- deadbolt locks with a minimum 1-1/2 inch bolt. Make
sure locks are also installed on screen and storm doors, garage doors,
cellar doors, patio doors, and any other door that leads to the outside
(including second-floor patios or decks).
Always use the locks you have, on
both your home and your garage. Lock up every time you go out, even if
it's only for a few minutes. Almost 50 percent of burglars enter homes
or property through unlocked doors or windows.
Locks on doors should be placed
at least 40 inches away from windows, glass panels, and other potential
openings such as mail slots. Make it hard for a burglar to reach in and
unlock your door.
Door hinges should always be on
the inside and designed so that the hinge pin cannot be removed from the
Never hide keys outside, such as
under a bush or in a flower pot. Burglars know where to find "secret"
hiding places. It's much better to leave a key with a trusted neighbor.
Don't place identification tags
on your keys or key rings; if you lose them, you give potential burglars
Secure sliding glass doors with
commercially available bars or locks, or put a wooden dowel or broom handle
in the door track. Burglars look for sliding glass doors because they are
the easiest to open.
Secure roof openings and exhaust
Make sure windows, especially those
at ground level, have good locks-and always use the locks you have.
The center thumb-turn locks on
many standard windows can be easily pried open or reached through a broken
pane. For especially vulnerable windows, install key locks or consider
installing grates or grilles (but make sure the devices can be easily
detached to allow a quicker escape during a fire or other emergency).
Glass block windows offer excellent security for basement windows
Make sure all porches and other
possible entrances are well lit, with at least 40-watt bulbs. A well-lit
house is far better protected than a house without lights.
Overgrown bushes, tree limbs, or
landscaping can provide cover for burglars. Trim them to the height of
porches or windows.
Always lock up ladders and tools.
Don't give a burglar the resources to break into your home.
Window air conditioning units should
be bolted to the wall to prevent them from being easily removed from the
If you have recently purchased a
television, stereo equipment, or other household item, do not throw the
empty boxes in the alley garbage. This is a sure sign and strong
temptation for burglars
Turn the ringer on the telephone
down low. If a burglar is around, he won't be alerted to your absence by
a ringing phone.
If you are out during the day or
on vacation, use an automatic timer to turn on lights and a radio at different
times of the day. It is an easy way to disguise the fact they you aren't
Have a trusted neighbor pick up
your mail and newspapers every day while you are on vacation. Have a neighbor
use your garbage cans occasionally. During the winter, arrange to have