SECURE YOUR PROPERTY –
HOME SECURITY BASICS
Here are tips to help you
evaluate your home security on ways to "harden" your residence
against break-ins. The emphasis is on securing the areas of
vulnerability for a thief intent on entry – windows & doors.
What may surprise you is
that half of all burglars enter homes through unlocked doors and
windows. Just by making a practice of locking doors and windows,
you can reduce your chance of a burglary by half !
Please take the time to look at the security methods outlined
here, and use them to increase the security of your home.
The most common ways of forcing entry through a door is by
kicking in the door, twisting off the doorknob, or prying the
door open. Every external door should have a dead bolt lock.
Doors should be of metal clad or solid wood construction.
A 190 degree door view
peephole should be installed in the center of doors without
Door hinges should be on the interior side of the door. If
hinges are on the exterior, hinges should be "pinned" to prevent
Consider break-resistant glass or laminates for windows within
40" of the door lock.
Exterior doors should have a properly installed deadbolt that
operates with a key from the outside and a turning knob on the
inside. It should be of case-hardened steel, with a 1” long bolt
throw, a rotating or beveled collar & a strike plate secured
with 3” screws. See drawing →
Chain locks are often used as a night latch. Chain locks are not
recommended because they are easy to overcome with force.
Screws securing most sash locks are too short. Replace them with
screws at least an inch long.
Sash locks are flimsy. To reinforce your window, drill two
1/4-inch holes through corners of sashes. Insert 16-penny nails.
The nails prevent the window from being opened from outside but
can be removed to open the window from inside.
Drill other holes in upper sash to keep window locked in a
partially open position for ventilation.
Close and lock your first floor and upper floor windows when
Vent locks are built-in devices to keep a window locked while it
is open a few inches. Some are spring-loaded plastic wedges that
pop out of the frame. Others are bolts that attaches to the
moving part of window and slide into a hole in the frame.
doors should have a blocking device such as a track lock or
dowel in the track.
Make sure the door can't be lifted out from its track.
Install screws to project slightly from upper track to prevent
doors from being lifted out.
Keep your garage door closed, even when at home. Leaving your
garage open gives burglars the opportunity to "take inventory."
Padlocks can be inserted into holes in garage door tracks to
prevent the door from being forced open.
Install a deadbolt or a
good quality hasp and padlock. Hasps need to be bolted to the
surface. Bolts should not be visible when hasp is in place.
Porch lights should be on from dusk to dawn every night.
Consider using timers to turn lights on so you never come home
to a dark house.
Use yard lights to illuminate walkways, driveways, and garages.
Motion detectors can be used to alert the resident and neighbors
that someone is in the area.
Trim shrubs and trees around house to prevent a place for
concealment by burglars
A deterrent to vulnerable first floor windows is to plant low,
thorny bushes around these windows.
Fences should establish the boundaries of your property without
offering concealment for a burglar.
Car doors should be locked at all times and car windows closed
all the way.
Do not leave any valuables visible in the car: no electronics or
hookups, no change, nothing ever.
Use a mechanical locking device like a CLUB locked on your
Operation ID: Engrave valuables with your driver's license #
and keep a detailed record.
Set some inside lights on timers to make your home appear
occupied at all times.
Use a greeting on your answering machine greeting that doesn't
tell the caller you are gone.
Put grills, bikes and other valuable items in your garage or
lock them to a railing.
For more information on home security, for a free
home security check in Bridgeport, contact Officer Ortiz of the
Community Services Division 203-576-8278 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information
about crime and safety in Bridgeport,