Home protection studies show that burglars will spend no longer than 60 seconds trying to break into a home. You can discourage a burglar by investing just a little time and money.

Fences:

Privacy fencing is a disadvantage to home security. To eliminate this disadvantage:

  • Remove every other slat to allow greater visibility
  • Plant hostile-type thorny plants to cover the fence
  • Padlock your fence gate

Landscaping:

Home security depends on good visibility. Plants should be kept trimmed, especially around doors and windows, where someone could hide.

One of the best cost-effective sources of home protection is exterior lighting. An inexpensive timer or photoelectric cell will automatically turn the lights on at dusk and off at dawn.

Investing in inexpensive landscape lighting will provide light to hidden areas and serve as path lighting for visitors. It is also an attractive landscaping feature.

Exterior doors:

Install a wide-angle viewer (peephole) in the door. This will let you know who is at the door. A 180-degree view peephole is recommended.

Not only your front door but all exterior doors and the door between the house and garage should be of solid core construction or heavy gauge metal with a minimum thickness of 1 and 3/8 inches.

Are your French doors secure? One of the doors must be inactive. You can accomplish this by installing flush bolts at the door's top and bottom, secured into metal strike plates. A deadbolt should secure the active door.

Discourage entry through sliding glass doors by placing a pin in the top and bottom to keep them from being pried out of their track.

Windows:

Install supplementary locks on all moving windows. Also, pinning a window shut reduces the chances of it being pried open. Drill a hole at a slightly downward angle through both the movable and fixed window frames, then place a pin, nail, or eyebolt in the hole to accomplish this. The nail is to be used as a removable sliding pin, not hammered in! Remember to allow easy removal for safety. Other methods include a tight-fitting dowel in the track of the window or adding thumb screw locks. Using key-operated locks and bars on windows is discouraged because it can hinder a family's escape.

Strike plates:

A strike plate should be installed with at least 3-inch wood screws. Better yet, install a heavier gauge security strike plate, using longer screws to pass through the door frame into the structural 2x4 framing.

Locks:

Old-fashioned locks in the knob type locks offer you privacy and convenience but not security. In fact, simply using a credit card or screwdriver can open many locks. A dead bolt lock is recommended with the following features:

  • A single cylinder with a rotating cylinder guard
  • A minimum 1-inch bolt
  • A five-pin tumbler

Garages:

Securing garage doors is difficult you can help secure them by:

  • Keeping garage doors closed and locked at all times
  • Covering windows to prevent people from viewing inside. Mirrored film on your windows allows you to see out, but prevents others from seeing in without some difficulty.
  • Replacing your door with a windowless metal garage door
  • Using a deadbolt lock just like your exterior doors

If you are a victim:

If your home is robbed or property is stolen or damaged, report it immediately. The investigating deputy will collect evidence and prepare a report. You will be asked to take an inventory to determine what was taken. Avoid touching or disturbing anything until the deputy has arrived.