Home Security Handbook

Introduction

When was the last time you heard about a house being burglarized? Maybe you have been hit yourself. Not a good feeling, is it?

You don’t have to be a victim of burglary. While it is one of the most frequently committed crimes, it’s preventable. Most home burglaries are done by opportunists who spot an open window, a faulty lock or a house that looks like no one’s going to be around for a while. In California, nearly one third of all burglaries are classified as “no-force entries” because the burglars simply walked in through an unlocked door or climbed in an open window.

You can reduce the chance that this will happen to you. Read this booklet to find out what you need to do. Most of the suggestions will cost you very little, but they will contribute immensely to your peace of mind. They will also safeguard your property.

Remember — lock your doors and windows when you leave your home. If you have an alarm, use it. Don’t become a crime statistic, and please share this book with your neighbor.

Home Security Survey

No house is absolutely burglar-proof when professional burglars target your home. But they would be the first to admit that you can discourage burglars if you beef up your home security. You can begin this process by identifying your weak areas and fixing them.

The checklist below will assist you in systematically surveying your home. Every “No” check mark shows a weak point that may let a burglar into your home. If you have security risks, read this handbook to find out how to correct them. As you eliminate the “No” check marks, you improve your protection.

Remember, this survey will only identify your weak areas. You have not improved your home security until these are corrected. Complying with these suggestions will not, of course, make your home burglar-proof, but it will certainly improve your protection.

If you would like professional advice and assistance in a thorough home security survey, call your local law enforcement agency. To keep your guard up, take a critical look at your home security every three to four months. Do not become lax — crime prevention is a continuous process.

HOME SECURITY CHECK LIST

USE THIS AS A GUIDE AS YOU CHECK YOUR HOME FOR SAFETY MEASURES. BOXES MARKED “NO” INDICATE AREAS WHERE YOU CAN TAKE SOME ACTION TO IMPROVE YOUR HOME’S SECURITY. THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO DECREASE YOUR LIKELIHOOD THAT YOUR HOME IS TARGETED FOR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.

EXTERIOR DOORS:

YES:
NO:
ALL DOOR ARE LOCKED AT NIGHT & EVERY TIME WE LEAVE THE HOUSE – EVEN FOR A FEW MINUTES
EXTERIOR DOORS ARE SOLID WOOD OR METAL CLAD
DOORS FEATURE WIDE ANGLE PEEPHOLES THAT EVERYONE CAN USE
IF THERE ARE GLASS PANELS IN DOORS, ARE THEY REINFORCED IN SOMEWAY TO PREVENT SHATTER
ENTRY WAYS DOORS HAVE A WORKING, KEYED LOCK & STURDY DEADBOLT INSTALLED
SPARE KEYS ARE KEPT WITH A TRUSTED NEIGHBOR, NOT UNDER THE MAT, PLANTER OR OUTSIDE

GARAGE & SLIDING DOOR SECURITY:

YES:
NO:
DOOR LEADING FROM AN ATTACHED GARAGE IS SOLID WOOD OR METAL CLAD WITH A KEYED LOCK
OVERHEAD GARAGE DOOR HAS A LOCK SO YOU DON’T RELY “SOLELY” ON THE AUTOMATIC OPENER
GARAGE DOORS ARE LOCKED & SECURE WHEN LEAVING THE HOUSE
SLIDING GLASS DOOR HAS A STRONG WORKING KEY LOCK SYSTEM
A DOWEL OR PIN IS USED TO SECURE GLASS DOOR TO PREVENT BEING PUSHED ASIDE OR OFF TRACKS
SLIDING DOOR IS LOCKED EVERY NIGHT AND EACH TIME UPON LEAVING THE HOUSE

PROTECTING WINDOWS:

YES:
NO:
EVERY WINDOW HAS A WORKING LOCK OR PINNED OR DOWEL INSERTED TO PREVENT OPENING
WINDOWS ARE ALWAYS SECURED EVEN WHEN OPENED A FEW INCHES FOR VENTILATION

OUTDOOR SECURITY:

YES:
NO:
SHRUBS & BUSHES ARE TRIMMED BACK SO THERE IS NO PLACE FOR SOMEONE TO HIDE
THERE ARE NO DARK PLACES AROUND HOUSE, GARAGE OR YARD THAT WOULD OBSCURE PROWLERS
EVERY OUTSIDE DOOR HAS A BRIGHT, WORKING LIGHT TO ILLUMINATE VISITORS
OUTDOOR LIGHTING IS USED APPROPRIATELY TO ENSURE EFFECTIVE ILLUMINATION
OUTDOOR LIGHTING AND/OR MOTION DETECTION ARE ON AT NIGHT WHETHER HOME OR NOT
ADDRESS #’S ARE CLEARLY DISPLAYED/MARKED SO 1ST. RESPONDERS CAN LOCATE RESIDENCE

SECURITY WHEN AWAY:

YES:
NO:
MINIMUM OF 2 LIGHTS TURNED ON & SET TO TIMERS TO GO ON/OFF AT DIFFERENT TIMES
MOTION DETECTORS OR ALARMS (IF APPLICABLE) ARE ACTIVATED WHEN AWAY FROM HOME
MAIL/NEWSPAPER SERVICE STOPPED OR A TRUSTED NEIGHBOR COLLECTS DAILY
HAVE A TRUSTED NEIGHBOR TEND TO YARD & WATCH HOUSE WHEN AWAY

OUTDOOR VALUABLES & PERSONAL PROPERTY:

YES:
NO:
GATES,GARAGE DOORS, SHEDS ARE LOCKED WITH HIGH QUALITY LAMINATED PADLOCKS
GATES,GARAGE DOORS, SHEDS ARE LOCKED ARE LOCKED AFTER EVERY USE
GRILLS, MOWERS & OTHER VALUABLES ARE IN A LOCKED GARAGE OR COVERED & OUT OF VIEW
BICYCLES ARE SECURED WITH A “U” BOLT LOCK OR QUALITY PADLOCK & CHAIN
BICYCLES ARE ALWAYS LOCKED EVEN IF LEFT FOR A FEW MINUTES
FIREARMS ARE STORED UN LOADED IN A QUALITY LOCKABLE ENCLOSURE & SECURED TO THE FLOOR
ALL FIREARMS SHOULD HAVE TRIGGER LOCKS
AMMUNITION SHOULD BE STORED IN A QUALITY LOCKABLE ENCLOSURE SEPARATE FROM FIREARMS
TV’S, COMPUTERS ETC. SHOULD BE ETCHED WITH IDENTIFYING NUMBER APPROVED BY POLICE
HOME INVENTORY LIST IS CURRENT WITH PICTURES & A COMPLETE COPY IS KEPT AWAY FROM HOME
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