Make your home look occupied/lived in 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 the outer perimeter of your home to be maintained 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. Install double key locks on doors that contain glass.
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, barbecues and bicycles, etc., are best stored out of sight
Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
Use curtains on garage windows and basement windows.
Targeting the Outside:
Have adequate exterior lighting mounted out of reach. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places.
Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.
Lock up ladders and tools that can be used to break into your home.
An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. Make several inquiries to different companies for the best security system available to you. Be sure to inquire about glass breaking detectors.
If you have a home alarm system, use it! Alarm systems are only useful when you remember to activate them.
Many individuals have alarm systems but do not arm them because it is inconvenient. Many burglars know this and will not be deterred by a window sticker or sign indicating that the home has an alarm system.
If Your Home Is Broken Into:
If 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 if necessary 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
Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques.
Trim your shrubbery around your home to reduce cover for burglars.
Be a good neighbor and know your neighbors. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Mark your valuables with your driver's license number with an engraver. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
Form a Neighborhood Watch and keep it active and effective.