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Divisions/Stations — Crime Prevention

Home Security Survey…

Lock Crime Out of Your Home...Keeping Your Home and Family Safe

Making your home safer from crime doesn't always means having to install expensive alarms, effective home security starts with properly locked doors and windows and visible, well-lighted entryways.

Exterior Doors…

          All exterior doors should be either metal or solid wood. For added security, use strong door hinges on the inside of the door, with non-removable hidden pins. Every entry door should be well lighted and have a wide-angle door viewer (peephole) so you can see who is outside without opening the door.


Strong, reliable locks are essential to effective home security. Always keep doors and windows locked, even a five minute trip to the store is long enough for a burglar to enter your home.

Use quality keyed knobs as well as deadbolts, because deadbolts can withstand the twisting, turning, prying, and pounding that regular knows can't.

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When choosing a deadbolt, look for such features: as a bolt that extends at least one inch when in the locked position, to resist ramming and kicking, hardened steel inserts to prevent the bolt from being sawed off, and a reinforced strike plate with extra long mounting screws to anchor the lock effectively.

Most deadbolts are single-cylinder (they operate from the outside with a key and from the inside with a thumb latch). Double-cylinder deadbolts require a key to open the lock from both outside and inside your home. These locks are especially effectively for doors with glass within 40 inches of the lock, because an intruder cannot break the glass and unlock the door by reaching through (check with law enforcement or Fire Marshal before installing a double-cylinder deadbolt, because there are fire code restrictions).
As an alternative, security glazing can be applied to glass panels in or near the door, or shatterproof glass can be installed, though these options can be expensive.

Sliding Glass Doors…

Sliding glass doors can offer easy entry into your home. To improve security on existing sliding glass doors, you can install keyed locking devices that secure the door to the frame; adjust the track clearances on the doors so they can't be pushed out of their tracks of the closed door to prevent the door from opening even if the lock is jimmied or removed.


Most standard double-hung windows have thumb-turn locks between the two window panels. Don't rely on these, they can be pried open or easily reached through a broken pane. Instead, install keyed locking devices to prevent the window from being raised from the outside, but make sure everyone in the house knows where to find the key in case of an emergency.
An easy, inexpensive way to secure your windows is to use the "pin trick". Drill an angled hole through the top frame of the upper window. Then insert a nail or eyebolt. The window can't be opened until you remove the nail. Make a second set of holes with window partly openly so you can have ventilation without intruders.


Lighting is one of the most cost-effective deterrents to burglary. Indoor-lighting gives the impression that a home is occupied. If you are going to be away from your home, consider using automatic timers to switch interior lights on and off at preset times.
Outdoor lighting can eliminate hiding places. Install exterior lighting near porches, rear, and side driveways, garage doors, and all other points of entry. Entryways to your home should always be well lighted. Place lights out of reach from the ground so the bulbs cannot be removed or broken. Aim some lights away from the house so you can see if anyone is approaching, or install motion-sensing lights, which turn on automatically as some approaches.

Shrubs and Landscaping…

Your home's walkways and landscaping should direct visitors to the main entrance and away from private areas. The landscaping should provide maximum visibility to and from your house. Trim shrubbery that could conceal criminal activity near doors and windows. Provide light on areas of dense shrubs and trees that could serve as hiding places. Cut back tree limbs that could help thieves climb into windows, and keep yard fencing low enough too avoid giving criminals places to hide.

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Last edited: 4/10/2008