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.