14 Tips for Preventing Break-Ins and Burglaries
Learn how you can make your house or apartment less appealing to thieves.
Many criminals who break into houses don’t actually break in—they enter through unlocked doors and windows. Don’t give thieves easy access to your home. Here’s what you can do:
- Invest in a quality door. A door with a glass pane may present a security problem.
- Install deadbolts on all exterior doors and the door connecting the garage to your house. inside the garage. (Deadbolts should be single-cylinder locks, at least 1 inch thick and extend at least 1 inch into the door frame when locked.)
- Secure windows and sliding glass doors with locks.
- Consider installing a home security system.
- Light the outside of your house. Consider installing motion-sensitive lights.
- Do not open doors to strangers. Always ask for identification.
- Install wide-angle peepholes in all solid doors. Don’t rely on chain locks to see who is at the door. Chains can easily be broken once a door is ajar.
- Keep your garage door locked and basement windows secure.
- Lock outbuildings (e.g., storage sheds) with deadbolts.
- Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed. Overgrown vegetation gives a burglar more privacy.
- Don’t give keys to anyone you don’t know well. Give parking lot attendants and mechanics your ignition key only, not your entire key ring.
- If people you don’t know (e.g., previous tenants or owners) could have keys to your house, change the locks.
- Always lock your doors, even if you’re gone only for a short while.
- Avoid hiding a key outside your home. Instead, leave a duplicate set with a friend or trusted neighbor.