Get Serious About Home Security
should be a top priority for everyone who owns or rents a home or apartment. A good proactive home security plan goes a long way toward making your house a home. Burglary and home invasion crimes are at all time highs. Criminals look for easy targets, by doing your homework you can drastically decrease the chances of having your home victimized.
One of the best ways to ensure that you've got your home covered is to complete a home security survey. A home security survey is an excellent tool to help you determine the areas of your home that you need to focus on. After completing the survey, pay close attention to the areas that you answered 'no'. Home security surveys are available via most local or state law enforcement agencies. For your convenience we appended a comprehensive survey below.
Take time to complete the survey below. For each question, simply answer 'yes' or 'no'. An answer of 'no' should be a call to action. Thanks to the Charlottesville, VA Police Department for providing such a comprehensive home security survey.
Exterior Door Safety
Garage and Sliding Doors
- All doors are locked at night and every time we leave the house – even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Exterior doors are solid hardwood or metal-clad (not hollow).
- Doors have peepholes installed at levels that all family members can utilize.
- If you have glass panels in your doors, they should be reinforced or shatter proof.
- All doors should have a sturdy deadbolt lock installed into the frame.
- Do not keep spare keys under the doormat or hidden anywhere outside your home.
- The door leading from the attached garage to the house is solid wood or metal-clad and protected with a quality keyed door lock and deadbolt.
- The overhead garage door has a lock so that we do not rely solely on the automatic door opener to provide security.
- Garage doors are all locked when leaving the house.
- The sliding glass door has a strong, working key lock.
- A dowel or a pin to secure a glass door has been installed to prevent the door from being shoved aside or lifted off the track.
- The sliding door is locked every night and each time we leave the house.
- Every window in the house has a working key lock or is securely pinned.
- Purchase a wireless home security system complete with motion and door/window senors
- Windows are always locked, even when they are opened a few inches for ventilation.
Security When Away From Home
- Shrubs and bushes are trimmed so there is no place for someone to hide.
- There are no dark areas around our house, garage, or yard at night that would hide prowlers.
- Every outside door has a bright, working light to illuminate visitors.
- Floodlights are used appropriately to ensure effective illumination.
- Outdoor lights are on in the evening – whether someone is at home or not or a photocell or motion-sensitive lighting system has been installed.
- Our house number is clearly displayed so police and other emergency vehicles can find the house quickly.
Outdoor Valuables and Personal Property
- At least two light timers have been set to turn the lights on and off in a logical sequence, when we are away from home for an extended time period.
- The motion detector or other alarm system (if we have one) has been activated when we leave home.
- Mail and newspaper deliveries have been stopped or arrangements for a neighbor/ friend to pick them up have been made when we go away from home for a period of time.
- A neighbor has been asked to tend the yard and watch our home when we are away.
- Gate latches, garage doors, and shed doors are all locked with high – security, laminated padlocks.
- Gate latches, garage doors, and shed doors are locked after every use.
- Grills, lawn mowers, and other valuables are stored in a locked garage or shed, or if left out in the open, are hidden from view with a tarp and securely locked to a stationary point.
- Every bicycle is secured with a U-bar lock or quality padlock and chain.
- Bikes are always locked, even if we leave them for just a minute.
- Firearms are stored unloaded and locked in storage boxes and secured with trigger guard locks.
- Valuable items, such as televisions, stereos, and computers have been inscribed with identifying number.
- Our home inventory is up-to-date and includes pictures. A complete copy is kept somewhere out of the house