Home security should be important to everyone whether you live in a house or an apartment. Knowing your home is protected provides peace of mind both when you are away and when you are home. Following are some practical tips on securing your home:
1. Have you arranged to have member of a law enforcement agency do a professional survey?
2. Are all trees and shrubs pruned and well maintained to prevent anyone from hiding unseen?
3. Do any trees, down pipes, lattice work provide easy access to upper floors?
4. If you have skylights can they be removed from the outside or easily broken?
5. Any ladders, tools kept outside to assist any potential intruder?
6. Are you guilty of keeping a hidden house key outside the house where it’s sure to be found?
7. Is your home well lighted with particular attention to exterior doors?
8. Can your main entrance be seen from the street?
9. Are exterior doors at least 1-3/4 inch thick and made from solid wood or reinforced with metal?
10. Do all exterior doors have heavy duty dead bolts and reinforced door jams?
11. Can anyone gain easy access through a mail slot, dryer vent, or pet entrance?
12. If doors have glass panels can someone break through and defeat the locking mechanism?
13. Have all sliding glass doors been protected from being easily lifted out from their frames?
14. Are all exterior lights and security devices in good working order and protected from breakage?
15. Does the door from the attached garage leading to the house have a dead bolt?
16. Does your overhead door have a working electronic door opener?
17. Does your overhead door have any loose, broken or missing door panels or hardware?
18. Do you keep the overhead doors closed, and your car locked inside the garage?
19. Do all windows have reinforced locking devices that can be secured in the open position?
20. Do all screens and storm windows have reinforced locks?
21. Do ground level windows have guards or grates?
22. Are basement windows glass block or protected by grates or security devices?
23. All irreplaceable items kept in high quality fire resistant safe or in off-site safety deposit box?
24. Do you have a complete and current video tape or pictures of all your valuables off-site?
25. Are all firearms kept secured and apart from ammunition?
FIRE PREVENTION AND SAFETY
1. Is your heating system in proper working order and inspected for dangerous leaks yearly?
2. Is there ample air circulation around appliances that are likely to overheat?
3. Any overloaded circuits, long extension cords runs, too many devices plugged unto one outlet?
4. Fireplaces, chimney free of dangerous build ups that could catch on fire?
5. Protective grate in front of fireplace to prevent sparks, hot logs from rolling into room?
6. Kitchen oven hood and far clear of greasy build-up that could cause a fire?
7. Smoke detectors installed on each level and tested weekly?
8. Smoke detector batteries replaced every 12 months or less?
9. Working fire extinguisher in kitchen, basement, garage, auto?
10. All family members sleep with bedroom door closed to prevent spread of fire, smoke?
11. All family members practice fire drill, know escape route, designated meeting pace to go outside?
12. Children know how to use phone to get help in an emergency?
WHEN AWAY FOR EXTENDED PERIODS
1. Security system armed? Automatic timers for lights, radio turned on? Phones turned down?
2. Arrange for neighbor to watch house, cut, water grass, give house that lived-in look?
3. No change in normal pattern of opening, shutting drapes, dead give-away lighting patterns?
4. Arrange to stop mail, newspaper delivery, yard work performed?
5. Arrange to have local police give “special attention” for area beat car?