Home Security Checklist
To protect your home from intruders, make sure that ...
- Doors - Since most intruders enter a residence by physically compromising a door or frame, strong doors and frames are essential to your security. Lock your doors at all times, even if you are at home.
- Windows - Do not make it easy for a burglar by leaving your windows unlocked. Locks that come with windows are not effective. Purchase a sturdy lock and keep it locked.
- House Numbers - Place your house number on the front of your house, on the curb in front of your house and on the fence outside your back gate. Use 6-inch high letters of reflective material or blank on white. You may also consider placing your house numbers on the back of your home.
- Street Lights - If your streetlight is not working report it to the proper agency.
- Lighting - Light the outside of your house. Exterior lights are important, especially near doors, windows, and in carports. Criminals do not like light and will avoid it.
- Landscaping - Keep the shrubbery trimmed. Thick tall shrubbery provides cover for a burglar and lets him work undetected. Where possible, place thorny plants under windows and along fences.
- Decals & Stickers - Mark your valuable possessions and post "Operation Identification" decals on your windows. These, and other warning stickers, are a deterrent to burglars.
- Mail Box - Your mailbox should be located so it can be seen and observed by your neighbors. Put only your street address on the box, not your name.
- Wide Angle Viewers - Put a peephole in your front door and use it. Never open your door to a stranger. Make sure the eye viewer gives you at least 180 degree of visibility.
- Garage Door - Keep it closed and locked. This helps protect valuable property stored in your garage and prevents access to interior doors to the house. An open garage is an invitation for a burglar.
- Garage Windows - Garage windows should be locked and reinforced with mesh screening. They should be covered with shades or blinds so a burglar cannot look inside for possible loot or for an indication of someone being home.
- Storage Sheds - Storage sheds or outside buildings should be securely locked. Any tools or equipment that could help a burglar break into your house should be locked in the shed or in a locked garage.
- Arcadia Doors - Secure y our patio doors, too. A broomstick, bar or finger operated lock can help. A pin-type lock or a key lock is better. Two or three screws in the overhead track will reduce the chance of lifting the door out of the track.
- Fences - Fences make it harder for a burglar to carry away large items, but are only effective if the gates are locked. Gates should always be locked.
- Warning Signs - A sign indicating an alarm system has been installed, that a dangerous dog is present or other warning signs can be a good deterrent. To be effective, signs must be of sufficient size to attract attention and be in a conspicuous place.
- Perimeter Lighting - All sides of your home should be protected by security lighting. Attractive, low-wattage lighting may be an effective way to keep intruders from getting interested.
- Side & Rear Windows - Window that cannot be seen from the street because of location or fences are a favorite place of entry for burglars. These windows must be locked with secure locks. They may require the use of iron bars, grills or special burglar resistant glass or plastic panes.
- Roof Openings - All skylights, roof vent openings or any other potential ceiling entrance should be reinforced with metal bars or heavy screens.
Many burglaries take place without forced entry. Many times the burglar uses a key. Be sure your keys don't fall into the wrong hands.
- Never carry identification tags on your key ring or holder.
- Re-key all locks when you move into a new house or apartment.
- Know who has keys to your home.
- Do not give keys to maintenance or delivery people.
- If you must leave a key behind, leave it with a trusted neighbor.
- Make sure that each member of your family knows where his or her key is.
- Never hide a key outside. Burglars know all the hiding places.
- Do not hang keys on key hooks within plain view inside your home.
Burglary has become one of the fastest growing crimes in America. According to FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, a burglary happens every 11 seconds nationally. Half of these burglaries are during the day. Two out of three burglaries are residential. According to the National Crime Prevention Institute a burglar will generally work no longer than 60 seconds to obtain entry into your house. If he cannot gain entry in that amount of time, he will move onto an easier target. There are four common myths about burglaries that you should be aware of: Myth #1 - If a burglar wants to get in he will.
That is not true. He may want to get in, but that does not mean he can nor that he has the equipment or opportunity to get in. If your home is an easy target, it does not take much skill or effort to get in. A swift kick of the door and the burglar is in your home within seconds. Most doors give way at the door jam. A good dead bolt, a solid door and a beefed up door jam makes a hard target to penetrate. Myth #2 - My Insurance company will cover the loss.
This is only partially true. Either you or the insurance company can replace most of the items in your home. What about the items that cannot re replaced, things given to you by relatives and loved ones, the things handed down from one generation to the next that stopped with your burglary. Myth #3 - The chances of it happening to me are slim.
Are they? Nationally one out of every six homes will at some time experience a burglary. Myth #4 - Burglars break in when no one is at home.
While this is true in most cases, it is not true in all cases. Waking up in the middle of the night and finding a stranger in your bedroom or coming up from the basement to be face to face with a burglar is a frightening and dangerous situation. Most burglars do not want a confrontation with the homeowner. They do not always know that you are there. Of course, some burglars have other ideas. Consider these crimes that are commonly associated with burglary: homicide, rape, sodomy, robbery, abductions, and assaults.
The City's Ordinance require numbers to be displayed on all buildings, which have an assigned street number. This is a life, safety issue so that emergency responders can find the right address. House numbers must meet the following requirements:
- The numbers must be Arabic numerals.
- The numbers must be three (3) inches high.
- The numbers must be displayed on the building, near the door.
- The numbers must be of a contrasting color and easy to read from across the street.
- Shrubbery, trees, or other items cannot obstruct the numbers.