Top 12 Burglary Prevention Tips

A few tips to get you started on securing your home against theft.
  1. Locked tight: Lock your doors and close your windows even if you step outside for just a moment. Theft is a crime of opportunity.
  2. Home security evaluations: Contact your local police department — many police departments offer free home security checks.
    • A uniformed officer will visit your home and evaluate your locks, windows, lighting, shrubbery, alarms systems, etc. and then provide improvement recommendations. Follow through with these recommendations.
    • Your insurance company might also provide these kind of services.
  3. Security systems: Consider equipping your home with a security system. Alarm systems can alert the police or fire departments directly, include a panic button and an outside alarm.
  4. Rear window: Lock double-hung windows with key locks or "pin" windows by drilling a small hole into a 45-degree angle between the inner and outer frames, then insert a nail that can be removed.
  5. Put outdoor equipment away: Keep ladders and tools inside locked sheds or locked tool cabinets in garages. Otherwise they could be used to gain access to your home.
  6. Well-lit: Install motion detector lights to discourage intruders and highlight your home.
    • Make sure all entrances are lit with at least a 40-watt light.
    • Leaving town? Leave one light on and put others on automatic timers.
  7. A good watchdog: A dog (indoors or out) can also deter intruders, if they are trained to bark at appropriate times. If you will be away, hire a trusted friend to care for your dog at your house instead of boarding it.
  8. Safe key-ping: Give an extra key to a trusted neighbor instead of hiding it outside your home. Most burglars know the best places to find keys.
  9. Keep it real: If you and your family will be out of town, have a friend or neighbor keep an eye on your house and pick up your mail, take out your garbage and shovel your driveway and sidewalk.
  10. Be a good neighbor: Take some time to get to know the neighbors in your area. Notice what type of vehicles they drive and pay attention to their routines. If you notice anything suspicious, call the police. The police would much rather check out a suspicious activity then to let it go by unreported.
  11. Start a neighborhood watch: Visit our Home Theft / Links section for related Web sites.
  12. Learn more: Visit our Get Prepared, Articles and Links sections for more information.

Updated: 5/2009