Home Safe Home

Before you take your next vacation getaway, secure your abode with these precautions.

Keeping House

Even in the best neighborhoods, residents need to think about crime. Follow this checklist to turn your house into Fort Knox (well, almost).

Secure Your Doors

  • Most burglars enter homes by breaking simple locks and kicking in doors. Make sure your front door is sturdy and install a dead bolt.
  • Don't leave keys under mats, planters, or fake rocks.
  • Make sure your home's side and back doors are as secure as your front door.
  • If you have Dutch doors, add a dead bolt to the lower and upper doors.
  • Sliding glass doors can easily be lifted off their tracks—reinforce them by installing pin locks.
  • Remember to always lock your garage door. More than protecting your car, you don't want to offer ladders or tools to a burglar.

Watch the Windows

  • Make sure all windows are closed and securely locked.
  • If you don't feel confident about the locks on your windows, put in extra protection. The Home Depot offers lots of options.
  • Make sure even the smallest basement windows are secure—there are plenty of skinny burglars.

Outsmart the Bad Guys

  • Contact the U.S.P.S. and request that your mail be held by your local post office until you return.
  • Suspend your daily or Sunday newspaper service.
  • Keep a radio and different lights on timers, and program them to go on and off throughout the day.
  • Install timed and motion-sensitive lights on your home's exterior.
  • Have a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your place, so they can collect fliers and packages.
  • Ask a friend or neighbor to park their car in front of your house, or in your driveway, while you're away.
  • Install a Neighborhood Watch sticker on your front door and push a security system sign into the ground—even if your house isn't alarmed.

Ryan Homes Tip: Homes security systems are an excellent deterrent. If you're thinking of installing an alarm, the Electronic Security Association's website can help you find a trusted security company in your area.