Security Tips

Safety and Security Tips provided by the U.S. Department of Justice:


  • Prune lower limbs from trees near the house.
  • Trim bushes so windows are visible to neighbors.
  • High fences shield burglars from sight.
  • Lock up your ladders and tools.
  • Trellises help a burglar climb to a second story.
  • Porches and entrances should be well lit.
  • Your street number should be clearly visible for police and firemen.

Doors and Windows

  • Entry doors should be solid core wood that is at least 1-3/4” thick, or metal.
  • Doors should fit tightly. 1/8” clearance maximum.
  • Doors with glass panels should have a break-resistant plastic panel.
  • Sliding doors need special locks or a wooden strip in the track to secure the door.
  • Use a dead-bolt door lock with a strike plate attached by 3” screws.
  • A rim mounted lock with bolt affords good protection.
  • Use police locks on rear and basement doors.
  • Padlocks must be sturdily constructed. Hasp must be bolted, not screwed.
  • Use special locks for double hung windows.
  • Use metal grills on vulnerable windows.

Vacation Check

  • Advise police that you will be away.
  • Have your neighbor pick up packages.
  • Have a friend pick up mail and newspapers daily.
  • Hide garbage cans in a garage or basement.
  • Double check locks on all windows and doors.
  • Leave your shades and blinds in their normal position.
  • Turn the bell on your telephone low so a burglar will not hear it ringing.
  • Stop deliveries of papers and magazines.


  • Never carry identification tags on your keys.
  • Don’t hide keys outside.
  • Have locks re-keyed or changed when moving.
  • Keep daily routines confidential.
  • Don’t put valuables where they are visible.
  • Don’t let strangers into your home to use the phone.
  • Wrong numbers or telephone surveys may be used by burglars to “case” your home.
  • Avoid listing your name or address in newspaper advertisements.
  • On the day of a funeral, you should always have a sitter in your home.
  • Add an identification number (from the police department) on all valuable possessions.
  • If your home or apartment appears to have been broken into, don’t go inside. Call the police.