Crime Proofing Your Home


Trim trees and shrubs so that your windows are visible. Police and neighbors should be able to see any access to your home.

Be sure trellises do not provide a burglar easy entry to second story windows.

Put in lights at porches and entryways. Motion-sensitive floodlights are the best.


Entry doors should be solid wood, at least 1¾ inches thick, or metal.

Doors and frames should fit snugly, with no more than 1/8 inch gap. Special strips may be purchased to cover bigger spaces.

Glass panels on doors should be covered with a metal grille or a break-resistant plastic panel.

Avoid construction that places hinges on the outside where they can be unscrewed.

Fit sliding doors with special locks, or place a broom handle in the track to prevent opening.

Marking your possessions:

Most police departments have an electric engraving pen available to mark your valuable belongings with a special code. Ask them about it. Engraving may actually stop a theft because a burglar knows marked goods will be harder to fence. In any case, it will certainly expedite recovery.

Vacation tips:

Turn telephone sound down or off so a ringing phone can not be heard from outside.

Pack your car in the garage or behind the house if you can. A car with doors and a trunk open, while family members haul bags and camping gear out of it, is an advertisement that you will be gone for a while.

Double check locks on doors and windows. Leave shades and curtains in normal positions. Use timers to turn lights off and on, preferably in a random pattern.

Ask neighbors to walk up your steps, or shovel your walk, to give the house a lived-in appearance.

Notify the local police department that you will be away.

Special cautions:

If your home contains a lot of valuables or is in an isolated area, consider installing an alarm system.

Don’t let strangers use your telephone. Offer to call for them if you want to be helpful and remain safe.

Be suspicious of telephone surveys and repeated wrong numbers. Is a burglar “casing” our home?

Have a friend “baby-sit” your home while you attend the funeral of a family number. Your name, after all, appeared in the paper along with the date and time the funeral would take you away from home.

If you return home and it appears someone has entered illegally, do not go inside. Call the police from another location.

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