Home Security Tips

Review some helpful tips, tricks, and contingencies to help keep your home safe from a variety of potential dangers.

  1. Burglaries
  2. Carbon Monoxide
  3. Fire
  4. Swimming Pool

Burglaries happen every 13 seconds. Here are some ideas that will help you decide what additional steps you might want to take to improve your home security.


Doors are the second highest point of entry for residential burglaries! Over 40% of home burglaries are termed by police as "no force" entries. In other words, doors or windows were left unlocked, allowing the burglar easy access to the home.

  • All latch-strike plates on your exterior doors should be secured with at least 3 inch screws.
  • Exterior doors having glass within 3 feet of the lock should have double-cylinder deadbolts installed on them.
  • All your exterior doors without glass should have a wide-angle door-viewer installed for identifying visitors.
  • All exterior doors should be constructed of solid wood.
  • Change the locks when you move into your home or apartment.
  • Always lock all your doors when you are home for the night or when you leave your residence.

Exterior Entries

Most burglars spend only 30 to 60 seconds attempting to gain entry into a home. This implies that the harder it is for a burglar to get into a home, the better chance that he will move on to an easier target.

  • All sheds or outbuildings should be secured with a quality, weatherproof padlock.
  • All valuables stored outside (bikes, ladders, lawnmowers, motorcycles, etc.) should be secured to a fixed, immovable object.
  • Engrave your drivers license number into valuables.
  • Keep ladders, tools or items that could be used to gain access to your home locked up and out of sight.

Exterior Lighting

Main entryways to your residence should be well-lit to allow for identification of visitors at your doors and to prevent loitering. 90% of all intruders will choose not to enter a residence that is well-lit.

  • All entrances should be illuminated well.
  • Floodlights or some other type of area illumination should cover all exterior sections of your home and property.
  • Use motion sensors to control your exterior lighting.

Garage Doors

10% of all illegal entries are gained through a garage door.

  • If your overhead garage door is not equipped with an automatic opener, have good-quality padlocks installed on both sides of the door.
  • Your exterior main door and the door from the garage into your home should have quality deadbolts. Always use them.
  • Always close your overhead garage door, even when you are home.
  • Be sure your garage door can be secured. Do not leave it open when you are away; an empty garage broadcasts your absence.
  • Lock the door leading from the garage to the house.


74.3% of unsuccessful burglaries were attributed to the alarm system "scaring away" the intruder. The probability of a burglary at a residential site without an alarm system is 14.8%.

  • Have a working home alarm system.
  • Always remember to arm the alarm before you leave.
  • Your alarm system should be armed when you will be in your backyard for any length of time.
  • Discontinue mail and newspaper service when away from home on vacation or business.
  • Arrange for a friend or neighbor to come by and check on your home when you plan on being away several days or longer.
  • Avoid announcing "We are not home right now" on your telephone answering machine.
  • Engrave your drivers license number into valuables.


Fences and shrubbery can make good hiding places for burglars.

  • Tree limbs should be trimmed to prevent access to upper floor windows or balconies.
  • Plant "prickly" or thorny shrubbery near windows to discourage loitering or hiding.
  • All outdoor foliage should be trimmed to prevent obstruction of exterior lighting.
  • Sliding Glass Doors
  • Sliding glass doors are usually installed at the rear of a home or apartment making them good candidates for entry by a burglar.
  • Auxiliary locks can prevent the door from being lifted out of its track.


Research shows that 74% of all unsuccessful burglary attempts failed because of an alarm that emits a loud sound.

  • Notify all emergency responders of your vacation schedule.
  • Leave a key with a responder.
  • Install timing lights which will automatically turn on during certain times of the day.
  • Have a neighbor pick up your mail, or have the post office hold it for you.
  • Stop the delivery of newspapers.


Over 40% of home burglaries are termed by police as "no force" entries. In other words, doors or windows were left unlocked, allowing the burglar easy access to the home. Windows are the 1st point of entry for residential burglaries!

  • 30.9% of burglaries occur through first floor windows.
  • 6.0% of burglaries occur through the upper-floor windows.
  • Always have the keys or hex keys readily available in an emergency. If you do not have keyed or hex screw locks, secure your windows additionally with pins or nails.
  • Auxiliary window locks can be installed to allow ventilation while maintaining security.