Home Crime Prevention

Each year in the U.S., there are more than five million home burglaries. Nine out of ten of these crimes are preventable. The risk of being burglarized can be greatly reduced by taking simple steps to make your home more difficult to enter and less enticing to would-be burglars. Remember the greatest weapons in the fight to prevent burglaries are light, time and noise

  • Make sure exterior lights are mounted out of reach so that burglars can't easily unscrew bulbs.
  • Consider buying motion-sensitive lights, available at relatively low prices.
  • Use a variable light timer to activate lights inside your home.
  • Trim trees and shrubs near doors and windows so burglars can't hide in the shadows.
Make it time-consuming for a burglar to break into your home by...
  • Installing deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
  • Installing double key locks in doors which contain glass. This will keep a burglar from being able to open the door simply by breaking the glass and reaching inside. (Note: Keep the key in a designated place in case of fire.)
  • Placing additional locks on all windows and patio doors.
  • Get a dog. You don't need a large attack dog, even a small dog creates a disturbance that burglars would prefer to avoid. Remember to License and Vaccinate your dog.
  • Consider having someone care for your dogs in your home while you're away instead of boarding them.
  • If you can afford it, install an alarm system that will alert neighbors of a burglar's presence. Most systems can summon police. Don't forget to check the alarm code.
Other tips to prevent break-ins:
  • Think like a burglar. "Case" your home and look for easy ways to enter.
  • Be sure valuables such as guns, electronic devices and artwork are not visible from the street.
  • Be sure to lock up ladders and tools which could be used to break into your home.
  • Work together with your neighbors. Organize a Neighborhood Watch and let trusted neighbors know when you will be away for an extended period.
  • While on vacation, have someone pick up your newspapers and mail. Don't let them accumulate and alert burglars of your absence. Better yet, have your mail and newspapers service suspended until you return.
  • Display your house number conspicuously and have it well illuminated. This will help police and emergency personnel find your home quickly.
Just in case...
Sometimes all your efforts won't stop a determined burglar. It is wise to take some precautions that will help you get your property back should a criminal successfully break into your home.
  • Make a list of your belongings (be sure to keep receipts, especially for expensive items like stereos and computers). Be sure to update this list periodically. Visit our Operation Inventory page for a log and help with this.
  • Keep your inventory list and receipts in a safe deposit box or with a friend. (This is also important in the event of a house fire.)
  • Photographing or videotaping your possessions is a convenient way to keep a record of what you own.
  • Engrave your valuables with an identification or mark to deter burglary and to prove ownership should the article be stolen and recovered by the police.
  • Be sure you have the right coverage. You may need to purchase additional insurance to protect special items like expensive jewelry or rare antiques.
  • If you don't own your home, consider buying a renter's policy. Your landlord will generally not be responsible for your possessions. Rental coverage is available at competitive rates and these policies also offer important protection against liability and losses due to fire or storm damage.