How does a burglar get into your home?
#1 - through the front door.
#4 - through the garage.
#5 - through unlocked entrances and storage areas.
#6 - through the basement.
#7 - through the second floor windows.
Other burglary facts...
• Many burglars will spend no longer than 60 seconds trying to break into a home.
• The more a burglar has to work, the less chance you have of becoming a victim.
• A burglar will bypass your home if it requires too much effort or requires more skill
and tools than they have.
cover, and with the best escape routes.
• A burglar is less likely to attempt to enter a well-lit residence.
• Most burglars enter homes through an open or unlocked window or door.
• One out of every four burglaries involve forced entry.
• The most common way used to force entry through a door with a wooden frame is
to kick it open.
• The majority of home burglaries occur during the daytime when people are away at
work or at school.
• Most home burglars are looking for things that are small, expensive, and can be
converted to cash (jewelry, guns, watches, small antiques, laptop computers).
Secure your front door or entrance.
• All doors should be hung with hinges on the inside.
• Replace hollow core outer doors with solid wood or metal doors.
• Install deadbolt locks that have at least a one inch throw bolt.
• Insure that there is at least forty inches between adjoining windows and door. If you
have windows on or near your doors, install a double cylinder deadbolt that requires a
key to open from the outside and the inside.
• Install a wide-angle security peephole in your door and use it to screen visitors before
opening the door.
• Install an ornamental iron screen door (available at most home improvement stores)
that opens out rather than in.
• Maintain good lighting, especially at front entrances.
• Remove bushes or other items that obstruct view of windows or doors.
• Never hide your keys outside. Give an extra key to a friend or family member instead.
• Never put an identification tag on your key ring.
• Re-key locks when you move into a new house or apartment.
Secure your windows.
• Ensure that all windows have working locks.
• Use window pins, track fillers or a wood pole to prevent windows from opening more
than four inches.
• Cut back tree limbs that could use to climb to an upper-level window
• Store ladders or other objects that would allow a burglar to reach your roof or second
• Secure basement windows with grilles, grates or glass block.
• Secure roof openings, air conditioners and exhaust systems.
• Window air conditioning units should be bolted to the wall to prevent them from
being easily removed from the outside.
• Consider installing window grates or grilles (but make sure the devices can be easily
detached to allow quick escape during a fire or other emergency).
• Consider laminated, tempered, wired or plastic windows.
Secure your back entrances and yard.
• Secure back doors and entrances in the same manner as front entrances.
• For sliding glass door use window pins, track fillers or a wood pole to prevent the door
from being forced open. Use locking devices that secure the doors to the frame or
• Adjusting the sliding door's track clearances so they can't be pushed or lifted out of
• Consider removing or replacing a privacy fence that may provide cover for a burglar.
• A barking dog is a proven deterrent to burglars.
• Add sufficient lighting to the back and sides of your home.
• Install a hedge around the perimeter of your yard. Hedges should be wide, rather
than high, and of a prickly, thorny variety.
Secure garages and out buildings.
• Padlock garages and out buildings when not in use..
• Make sure to keep your garage door closed, even if you're only going to be away for
a few minutes.
• Put away items like sports equipment, lawn mowers, portable grills and bicycles.
Provide adequate lighting.
• Use outdoor lighting to diminish places to hide.
• Use indoor lighting to give the impression that a home is occupied.
• Keep any entryways well lit.
• Use motion detecting flood lights aimed into the yard and other approach paths.
• Place lights out of reach so that the bulbs can't be removed broken.
• Use timers on indoor lights near the front and back windows with the curtains drawn.
• Exterior lights left on all day is a giveaway that you are out of town. Use timers or
photo-cells on external lights to turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn.
Use good locks.
• Use high quality locks that resist twisting, prying, and lock-picking attempts.
• A quality deadbolt lock will have a beveled casing to resist channel-lock pliers used for
• A quality door knob lock set will have a dead-latch mechanism to prevent slipping the
lock with a shim or credit card.
• Use a quality, heavy-duty, deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw bolt.
• Use a heavy-duty, four-screw, strike plate with 3-inch screws to penetrate into a
wooden door frame and stud.
When your house is unoccupied.
• Ask a neighbor or friend to watch your home when you're away.
• Ask a neighbor or friend to pickup your paper, handbills, mail, mow your lawn or bring
in your trash receptacle while you're away.
• Put a hold on your mail and deliveries while on vacation.
• Leave shades, blinds, and curtains in normal positions.
• Never leave an "I'm away!" message on your answering machine or front door.
General home security tips.
• Make a list of your valuables - VCRs, stereos, computers, jewelry. Take photos of the
items, list their serial numbers and description.
• Engrave your valuables.
• Don't leave keys in you car.
• Don't dispose of new appliance boxes in public.
• Place highly visible decals on the glass door near the latch mechanism that indicates
that an alarm system, a dog, or block watch/operation identification is in place.
• Get to know all your adjacent neighbors and agree to watch out for each other's
• Use light timers to turn on radios or television sets to enhance the illusion of
• Consider a home safe to protect the jewelry, small collections, handguns, important
documents, medications, and irreplaceable family heirlooms and pictures.
• Make sure that your address is clearly visible from the street during the day and night.