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Home Security Tips

Burglary is mostly a crime of opportunity that capitalizes on the carelessness and neglect of the homeowner or renter. This section contains tips on preventing home burglaries, vandalism, and other property crimes by controlling access, providing visibility, and maintaining your property. It also contains tips on protecting your home when you are away, as well as protecting the property you take with you. And if you do become a victim, it includes tips on helping the police get to your home and to identify your property. These tips can significantly enhance the security of your home and property.

Controlling Access

The following tips suggest how access to your home can be controlled by physical protection, deterrent measures, and good safety practices.

Physical Protection



Doorknob locks offer no security. Defeating these locks is one of the most common means of forced entry. Chains don't provide security either. They are only good for privacy. All exterior doors should have an additional deadbolt lock.


Other Openings

Pet doors, crawl spaces, ventilation windows, and other openings should also be secured. And make sure that window air conditioners are installed securely and cannot easily be removed from the outside.

Fences, Walls and Gates


Outdoor Storage

Metal sheds provide good additional storage space provided they are assembled correctly and have a good padlock.

Good Security Practices

You and your home will not be safe unless you follow good security practices. These tips will help make your protective measures effective:

Deterrent Measures


In most cases dogs act as a psychological deterrent and can be an excellent supplement to a security system provided the animal can be relied upon to give warning when warning is needed. Dogs can scare a stranger away by either barking or looking fierce. But remember that they can be lured away, poisoned, killed, or even stolen. Trained attack dogs are not recommended because the risk of liability to the owner is great should the dog attack an innocent person. Outside dogs should be kept in a on a leash and in a fenced area with a good lock on the gate.


There is no way an alarm system can make your home burglarproof. However, a good system can deter and/or detect most non-professional burglars and give you some peace of mind. Reputable companies will install and maintain a system that will ring an alarm on the premises and silently signal the company's headquarters for dispatching the police or an alarm company agent.

Once the company representative has made an appraisal of your security needs, ask for a written proposal and a copy of the contract you will have to sign. Make sure the contract lists all the points of protection, the equipment to be installed, and the initial and monthly payments. You should also check with your insurance company to see if you qualify for an alarm discount.

Signs and Borders

Providing Visibility


Illuminate your property at night. Don't depend on streetlights or lights from adjoining properties.

Good four-corner exterior lighting is important, particularly where there are dark areas around the house. Floodlights installed under eaves can illuminate these areas and expose anyone next to the house. Timers or photoelectric cells can be used to turn lights on at dusk and off at dawn. And motion sensors can be used to turn lights on when any motion is detected.


Maintaining your Property

It is important to keep your property in good condition. Criminals are attracted to property in poor condition because they see that the owners or tenants do not care about it.

Protecting Your Home And Property When You Are Away

Many of these actions are intended to make it appear that you are not away from home.

At a hotel or motel when on a vacation or business:

Helping The Police Get To Your Home

Identifying Your Property

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