- Lock all doors and windows: Invest in good locks. Deadbolt locks with long bolts that terminate in a good, solid door frame makes breaking down a door a chore. Also invest in good, solid core doors.
- Keep shrubs trimmed back: If windows are visible, it is easier for neighbors or police to spot a broken window. Consider “thorny” shrubs, as they can be deterrents, as it can be painful to access windows over them.
- Keep your garage door closed at all times: Not only does this prevent items from being stolen, it also takes away another sign that you’re home or away.
- Store vehicles in your garage: Vehicles in garages make it harder for crooks to determine if you are away and prevents them from burglarizing your vehicle.
- Get to know your neighbors: Knowing your neighbors is a great crime deterrent. Extra sets of eyes keeping watch on your property, reporting suspicious activity, and helping keep you safe. Be sure to return the favor and keep an eye on their home too.
- Consider an alarm system: Most insurance companies offer discounts for alarms, and some system also monitor fire.
Watch what you throw out in the trash: If you’ve purchased a new TV, computer, or other expensive item, consider another way to dispose of the box. Will the store dispose of it in their trash? Can you cut it up to put inside garbage bags?
Use light timers when you are gone for long period: Light timers give the appearance of being lived in. Leave a radio or TV on at a conversational volume level. Have a neighbor pick up your paper and mail and accept packages. Have a neighbor remove door hangers and other advertisements that pile up at your door.
Consider a safety deposit box for jewelry: This can be especially useful for expensive jewelry or jewelry that you do not wear often.
Join or form a crime watch group: Getting to know a lot of your neighbors, and inviting the police to your meetings are powerful tools in your arsenal against crime.
Turn on exterior lights after dark: Use the same schedule for lighting when you are away that you do when you are at home. Consider timers for exterior lights.
Think like a burglar: Ask yourself, “What would a burglar find when he looks at my house that would be inviting?” Remember that you are an important partner in the fight against crime.