- Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.
- Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
- Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for any length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Don’t allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to collect them regularly.
- Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended period of time.
- Check locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices if necessary.
- Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
Don’t tempt a thief
- Keep lawn mowers, snow blowers, barbecues and bicycles stored out of sight.
- Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
- Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
Get the best locks
- No lock, regardless of its quality, can be truly effective. Key-in dead bolt locks provide maximum security.
- Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
- Have all locks changed when moving into a new home.
Targeting the outside
- Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
- Make sure your door hinges are on the inside of the door.
- Keep your yard well maintained. Store ladders and tools inside the garage or basement when not in use.
- All entrances and porches should be well lit.
- An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There are a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
- Alarms are a good barrier for protection, but don’t get too complacent. Never give out your pin number and don’t choose an obvious code.
If Your Home Is Broken Into
If you come home to find an unexplained open or broken window or door:
- Do not enter; the perpetrator may still be inside.
- Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
Other precautions you should take
- Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other “secret” hiding places; burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
- Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase, original value and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory. Update the inventory regularly.