Burglary Prevention - Lights, Locks & the Law

The burglary basics:

  • Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.  

  • Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.  

  • Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.  

  • Keep your garage door closed and locked.  

  • Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.  

  • Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.  

  • Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.  

  • Pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.  

  • Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.  

  • Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.


Don't tempt a thief: 

  • Lawn mowers, snow blowers, barbecues and bicycles are best stored out of sight.  

  • Always lock your garden sheds and garages.  

  • Use curtains on garage and basement windows.  

  • Never leave notes on your door such as "Gone shopping."


Locks…get the best:

  • No lock, regardless of its quality, can be truly effective.

  • Key-in dead bolt locks provide minimum security. Ask a locksmith for advice on your situation.  

  • Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.   When moving into a new home, have all locks changed.


Targeting the Outside:

  • Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.

  • Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.  

  • Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.



  • Most windows can be pinned for security.  

  • Drill a 3/16" hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and halfway into the outside frame - place a nail in the hole to secure the window.



  • An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There is a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.  

  • Make several inquiries to different companies for the best security system available to you. If


Your Home Is Broken Into/You come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:

  • Do not enter - the perpetrator may still be inside.  

  • Use a neighbor's phone to call police.  

  • Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.  

  • Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.  

  • Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.


Other precautions you should take:

  • Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other "secret" hiding places -- burglars know where to look for hidden keys.  

  • Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home -- this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.  

  • Trim your shrubbery around your home to reduce cover for burglars.  

  • Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 9­1­1 immediately.

  • Mark your valuables with your driver's license number with an engraver you can borrow from your precinct. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.  

  • Form a Neighborhood Watch Group. We can help you work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.  

  • Consider installing a burglar alarm system. 


The MOST important thing YOU can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a CRIME or any SUSPICIOUS activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes!


Remember the three L's of Crime Prevention: LIGHTS, LOCKS & the LAW!


Light up your residence, lock your doors at all times, and call the Law when you see something suspicious.