Is your home safe from burglars? Does it draw attention to itself as a potential target?
Home security and burglary prevention requires you, as the resident, to take a few moments and assess your home's strengths and weaknesses, and take steps to "harden the target." The idea is to make it as difficult, time-consuming, and noisy as possible for someone to break into your house, so that they'll be that much more likely to skip over your house when choosing a target.
Home Security (pamphlet) [PDF, 81Kb]
Seguridad en el Hogar (folleto) [PDF, 77Kb]
Home Security [PDF, 226Kb]
Home Security Checklist [PDF, 170Kb]
Personal Property Identification Record [PDF, 213Kb]
Locks [PDF, 790Kb]
An easy way to start identifying weak points in your home's security is to think about what you would do if you were locked out of your home. Would you try to climb through a window? Would you climb over the fence into the backyard and come in through a side or rear door? Do you have any objects outside your home that could assist you in climbing over obstacles or up to access points, such as crates, ladders, or other sturdy objects? If you can get into your own home without a key, so can a burglar.
Three things that you want to keep in mind when strengthening your home's security are difficulty of access (locks, gates, etc.), visibility (landscaping, lighting), and noise (breaking glass, alarms, etc.). Burglars don't like to spend a lot of time breaking into a home, but they will if they can do it quietly and out-of-sight. On the flip-side, a burglar might take the risk of someone hearing a window breaking if they know they can get in and out quickly. Don't rely on one aspect to protect your home. Think of it like an onion - the more layers a burglar has to get through, the more unpleasant the experience will be for them, and the less likely they'll put themselves through it.
Use the links above to download important information about securing your home, as well as simple, easy-to-follow tips on how to improve your home's security. A checklist has been provided for you to go through your entire home and identify weak points that you can reduce or eliminate. Also take the time to do a complete home inventory, using the property identification record provided above (if you have insurance, your policy may require this as well), and update it at least once every 12 months (twice per year is better).
If you don't already have one on your block, consider starting a Neighborhood Watch group with your neighbors. This free program is an effective way to reduce crime by letting criminals know that they are being watched, and is yet one more layer in your overall home security plan.
Please make sure to visit our Reporting Crime & Suspicious Activity page, should you ever become a victim of burglary or any other type of crime (which we hope you don't).