Making your home safer from crime doesn't always mean having
to install expensive alarms — effective home security starts
with properly locked doors and windows and visible, well- lighted
All exterior doors should be either metal or solid wood. For added security,
use strong door hinges on the inside of the door, with non-removable or
hidden pins. Every entry door should be well lighted and have a wide-angle
door viewer so you can see who is outside without opening the door.
Strong, reliable locks are essential to effective home security. Always
keep doors and windows locked — even a five-minute trip to the store
is long enough for a burglar to enter your home.
Use quality keyed knobs as well as deadbolts — deadbolts can
withstand the twisting, turning, prying, and pounding that regular
keyed knobs can't.
choosing a deadbolt, look for such features as a bolt that extends at
least one inch when in the locked position, to resist ramming and kicking;
hardened steel inserts to prevent the bolt from being sawed off, and a
reinforced strike plate with extra long mounting screws to anchor the
Most deadbolts are single-cylinder; they operate from the outside with
a key and from the inside with a thumb latches. Double-cylinder deadbolts
require a key to open the lock from both outside and inside your home.
These locks are especially effective for doors with glass within 40 inches
of the lock — an intruder cannot break the glass and unlock the
door by reaching through.
Some jurisdictions do not allow these locks — check with your
local law enforcement or building code authorities before installing
a double cylinder deadbolt. As one alternative, security glazing
can be applied to glass panels in or near the door, or shatterproof
glass can be installed, though these options can be expensive.
Sliding Glass Doors
Sliding glass doors can offer easy entry into your home.To improve
security on existing sliding glass doors, you can install keyed
locking devices that secure the door to the frame; adjust the track
clearances on the doors so they can't be pushed out of their
tracks; or put a piece of wood or a metal bar in the track of the
closed door to prevent the door from opening even if the lock is
jimmied or removed.
Most standard double-hung windows have thumb turn locks between the two
window panels. Don't rely on these — they can be pried open or easily
reached through a broken pane. Instead, install keyed locking devices
to prevent the window from being raised from the outside, but make sure
everyone in the house knows where to find the keys in case of an emergency.
Some jurisdictions have restrictions on this type of lock — check
with your local law enforcement before you install them.
An easy, inexpensive way to secure your windows is to use the "pin"
trick. Drill an angled hole through the top frame of the lower window
partially into the frame of the upper window.Then insert a nail
or eyebolt.The window can't be opened until you remove the
nail. Make a second set of holes with the windows partly opened
so you can have ventilation without intruders.
Lighting is one of the most cost-effective deterrents to burglary.
Indoor lighting gives the impression that a home is occupied. If
you are going to be away from your home, consider using automatic
timers to switch interior lights on and off at preset times.
Outdoor lighting can eliminate hiding places. Install exterior
lighting near porches, rear and side doorways, garage doors, and
all other points of entry. Entryways to your home always should
be well lighted. Place lights out of reach from the ground so the
bulbs cannot be removed or broken.Aim some lights away from the
house so you can see if anyone is approaching, or install motion-
sensing lights, which turn on automatically as someone approaches.
Shrubs and Landscaping
Your home's walkways and landscaping should direct visitors
to the main entrance and away from private areas.The landscaping
should provide maximum visibility to and from your house.Trim shrubbery
that could conceal criminal activity near doors and windows. Provide
light on areas of dense shrubs and trees that could serve as hiding
places. Cut back tree limbs that could help thieves climb into windows,
and keep yard fencing low enough too avoid giving criminals places
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Crime Prevention Tips Provided by:
National Crime Prevention Council