Home security is a basic component of Neighborhood Watch. If a burglar needs more than one or two minutes to break into a home, chances are he will leave for fear of being seen or of making too much noise. Although there is no guarantee against break-ins, there are a few simple steps residents can take to reduce their chances of victimization. The primary step is to take a security survey of your home to identify those areas that could be made more secure:

Address
  • Make sure that your address is visible on our house and can be read from the street, especially at night.
Lighting
  • Good outside lighting can be a deterrent to burglars. Light those areas that are accessible to prowlers and visible to your neighbors. These include all doors and windows.
  • Any spotlights that you install should shine on those areas, not out into the yard.
  • Install photoelectric timers on your outside lights so they will go on and off with the rising and setting of the sun.
  • Do not leave porch lights on during the day--to burglars it's a sure sign that no one's home.
Landscaping
  • Expose your house to the neighborhood.
  • Make sure bushes do not hide your door from view, making it possible for burglars to spend more time breaking in.
  • Bushes should be trimmed to below window level so that burglars can't have a secluded place to break into. Also, your visibility to your neighbors houses will be improved.
  • For larger shrubs, trim up from the ground three feet to increase exposure of anyone hiding behind them.
  • Hedges should be trimmed no higher than three feet.
  • Shrubbery provides not only cover for burglars, but hiding places for tools and stolen property.
Doors
  • Exterior doors should be solid, not hollow core. They should fit snugly in the frame and the hinges should not be exposed.
  • Sliding glass doors should have a dowel in the track to prevent opening. Place screws in the upper track so that they do not touch the door as it slides but prevents someone from lifting the door out of the track.
  • Double doors should have one side locked at all times by a heavy duty flush or surface bolts that go into metal strick plates. Deadbolts should also be used.