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Basic home security

Basic home security

Burglary is mostly a crime of opportunity. You can prevent home burglaries, vandalism, and other property crimes by controlling access, providing visibility, and maintaining your property.

Check your home for weaknesses and correct them

  1. Take the time to "case" your house or apartment, just as a burglar would. Where is the easiest entry? How can you make it more burglar-resistant? 
  2. Trim trees and shrubs near doors and windows, and think carefully before installing a high, wooden fence around your back yard. High fences and shrubbery can add to your privacy, but can also be an asset to a burglar. Consider trading a little extra privacy for a bit of added security. 
  3. Force any would-be burglar to confront a real enemy—light. Exterior lights and motion detectors, mounted out of easy reach, can reduce the darkness a burglar finds comforting. 
  4. Simple security devices—nails, screws, padlocks, door and window locks, grates, bars and bolts—can increase the amount of time it takes to break into your home. 
  5. Are any of your valuables—paintings, a silver collection or a computer—easy to see from outside the house? Rearranging your furnishings might be advisable if it makes your home less inviting to criminals.


There is no way an alarm system can make your home burglarproof. But a good system can deter and/or detect most non-professional burglars and give you a little peace of mind. Reputable alarm companies install and maintain systems that ring an alarm on the premises and silently signal the company's headquarters for dispatching the police or an alarm company agent.

If you install an alarm, make sure your contract lists all the points of protection, the equipment to be installed, and the initial and monthly payments. Also check with your insurance company to see if you qualify for an alarm discount. You should also contact your local law enforcement authority to find out about their false alarm policy. In many areas it’s not uncommon for the homeowner to be billed after repeated false alarms.