Evaluating Residential Safety
Before you make security improvements, identify the entry points most likely to be used by a burglar. You can do this by answering the following questions:
- If I am locked out of my house, where could I get in without too much difficulty?
- Which entrances are hidden/out of view from my neighbors?
Guidelines for Doors & Windows
- Consider solid core wood, metal or other reinforced doors, reinforced door jams or jam braces, 3-inch screws, heavy-duty strike plates and tamper proof hinges, and safety glass or security film on vulnerable windows.
- Doors and windows should fit snugly against the frames and all frames should be free of warping, cracks, and other signs of wear and tear.
- Double-hung windows should be secured with pins or extra locks to discourage prying.
- Exterior doors should be strong enough to withstand excessive force and be secured with a deadbolt lock that has a minimum 1-inch throw. All strike plates and frames should be anchored to the home's main construction.
- High-risk windows (basement, garage, ground-level, partially or totally secluded, latched, etc.) should be secured sufficiently enough to discourage or impede possible intrusion.
- Sliding glass doors and windows should be secure against forcing the locks or from being lifted completely out of the frame.
- The main entrance door should have a door-width angle (180 degree) viewer/peephole.
Guidelines for Lights
- All entrances (doors and windows) to your home should be well lit at night.
- Timers (both interior and exterior) should be installed to activate lights in your absence.
- Use motion-sensor lighting, specifically directed and focused on entry points and vulnerable areas.
Guidelines for Landscaping
- Trees and shrubs should be trimmed to allow visibility along the perimeter (particularly entries) of the house.