A simple and effective first step to preventing home burglaries is to lock doors and windows. Criminals are opportunists, and look for easy targets. Open garage doors provide an ideal opportunity for criminals by giving them a clear view of valuables and an easy access into your home.
- Lock doors and ground floor windows when away from home or retiring for the evening.
- Close and lock all garage doors (especially after dark).
- Equip all exterior doors with good quality deadbolt locks (single cylinder) and high security strike plates with three inch screws.
- Sliding glass and patio doors are a common point of entry in a burglary. View diagram showing how to prevent a forced entry.
- When away, create the appearance that your home is occupied by using timers on interior lights.
- Use motion sensors on outside lights, especially in secluded areas.
- Keep valuables in an unlikely place. Bedroom dressers and closets are typically the first place a burglar will look.
- Document valuables by recording serial numbers and take photos of unique items such as jewelry.
- Get to know your neighbors. Establish that you can rely on each other to remain watchful of the neighborhood.
- Before leaving on a trip:
- Have your newspaper and mail stopped, or picked up daily.
- Don't share travel plans on social networking websites.
- Ask trusted neighbors to watch your home.
- Have your lawn mowed regularly, and keep the driveway/sidewalk shoveled.