Home Safety

Doors and locks Strangers
Windows and other entrances Vacations or going out
Pools In the yard
Lighting and noise makers Miscellaneous
Telephones and mailboxes Burglary Prevention Checklist


In 1989 there were over 400,000 domestic burglaries in this country. Many homeowners now realize the importance of taking sensible precautions to protect their homes.

Two out of ten burglaries are committed by professional criminals. In three burglaries out of ten, the thief doesn't even have to use force to get in - the homeowner has left a door or window open. Burglars like easy opportunities. If they have to make a lot of noise, spend a lot of time or risk being seen, the chances are they won't bother. They don't like locked windows because braking glass attracts attention. If a window is secured with a window lock, they won't be able to open it after breaking in, which means they have to climb past broken glass. Nor do they like doors with security deadlocks. These can only be opened with a key, so if a burglar gets in through a window, he has to leave by window because he cannot open the door from inside.  Simple precautions like these do work. So check the security of your home against the advice on these pages, and strengthen the weak spots as soon as possible.

Home Safety

Doors and locks.

Windows and other entrances.

Lighting and noise makers.

Telephones and mailboxes.


Vacations or going out.



In The Yard.



Gates and Fences: Check fences at the back and sides of your house for weak spots where a thief could get in - a low or sagging fence, or a back gate with no adequate lock. An additional deterrent is to plant a thorny hedge or climber along the boundary. But make sure that the front of the house is still visible to passers-by so that any burglar cannot work unseen.  Lock your side gates and secure your garage door. If you must leave a car parked outside, remove any valuables and park it in a well lighted area of your driveway.

Visibility: If you plant bushes or shrubs, make sure they do not obscure the view of your doors or windows to provide cover for a thief.

Garages: Never leave a garage or garden shed unlocked, especially if it has a connecting door to the house; a thief could let himself in and work on the inner door in privacy. Tools provide a thief with a ready made kit for forcing a door or window. And lock ladders inside the garage or shed to stop a thief using them to reach inaccessible windows. If there's no room inside, chain or padlock them horizontally to a stout bracket on an outside wall.

Side Passages: Stop a thief getting to the back of the house, where he can work with less chance of being disturbed, by fitting a strong, high gate across the passage. If you share an alley way with a neighbor, ask his or her permission and for help with the cost.

Chains: These help you to speak with strangers at the door before letting them in.   Once you have fitted one, get into the habit of using it.

Intruders in the night:  Waking in the middle of the night to hear footsteps is an unnerving experience. If it happens, the best advice is not to lie still and pretend to be asleep, nor to confront the burglar. Both courses of action are difficult and risky. Instead, switch on the lights and make a lot of noise by moving about. Even if you're on your own, call out loudly to an imaginary companion. Most burglars will flee empty-handed rather than risk a confrontation.  Ring the police as soon as you safely can.

ALERT - 911 Cell Phone Calls:  Many people don't realize that if they use their cell phones to call 911 emergency, they WILL NOT REACH LOCAL EMERGENCY DISPATCH! They will be connected to the Highway Patrol Dispatch Center who will screen the call and transfer you to the appropriate agency. This can take a long time and often these calls are lost due to poor connections. If you need help from a cell phone Oaks, it might be faster to call the operator


Burglary Prevention Checklist For Homes

This checklist was designed to help you make a security survey of your own home.

The first purpose of a home security inspection is to identify features in your home or daily routines of your family which might make your home an easy target for a burglar.

The security inspection should begin at your front door, include an inspection of all your doors and windows, locks, lights and landscaping. Each question on the checklist which you answer with an "x" or a check mark in the second column indicates a security weakness or hazard which requires your attention.

If you would like professional advice and assistance in a thorough home security inspection, call your local law enforcement agency.


1 Are all outside doors in the house of metal or solid wood construction? Yes____ No____
2 Are door frames strong enough and tight enough to prevent forcing or spreading? Yes____ No____
3 Are door hinges protected from removal from the outside? Yes____ No____
4 Are there windows in any door or within 40 inches of the locks? Yes____ No____
5 Are all door locks adequate and in good repair? Yes____ No____
6 Are strikes and strike plates adequate and properly installed? Yes____ No____
7 Can the locking mechanism be reached through a mail slot, delivery port or pet entrance at the door? Yes____ No____
8 Is there a screen or storm door with an adequate lock? Yes____ No____
9 Are all entrances lighted with at least a 40 watt light? Yes____ No____
10 Can front entrances be observed from the street or public area? Yes____ No____
11 Does the porch or landscaping offer concealment from view from the street or public area? Yes____ No____
12 If there is a sliding glass door, is the sliding panel secured from being lifted out of its track? Yes____ No____
13 Is the "charley-bar" or a key operated auxiliary lock used on sliding glass doors? Yes____ No____


14 Are all entrances to the living quarters from a garage or basement of metal or solid wood construction? Yes____ No____
15 Does the door from the garage to the living quarters have locks adequate for exterior entrances? Yes____ No____
16 Does the door from the basement to the living quarters have an adequate lock operated from the living quarters side? Yes____ No____


17 Do all windows have adequate locks in operating condition? Yes____ No____
18 Do windows have screens or storm windows that lock from the inside? Yes____ No____
19 Do any windows open into areas that may be hazardous or offer special risk to burglary? Yes____ No____
20 Do windows that open into hazardous areas have security screens or grills? Yes____ No____
21 Are exterior areas of windows free from concealing structure or landscaping? Yes____ No____
22 Is the exterior adequately lighted at all window areas? Yes____ No____
23 Are trees and shrubbery kept trimmed back from upper floor windows? Yes____ No____
24 Are ladders kept outside the house where they are accessible? Yes____ No____


25 Is there a door from the outside to the basement? Yes____ No____
26 If so, is that door adequately secure for an exterior door? Yes____ No____
27 Is the outside basement entrance lighted by an exterior light of at least 40 watts? Yes____ No____
28 Is the outside basement door concealed from the street or neighbors? Yes____ No____
29 Are all basement windows adequately secured against entrance? Yes____ No____


30 Is the automobile entrance door to the garage equipped with an adequate locking device? Yes____ No____
31 Is the garage door kept closed and locked at all times? Yes____ No____
32 Are the garage windows secured adequately for ground floor windows? Yes____ No____
33 Is the outside utility entrance to the garage as secure as required for any ground floor entrance? Yes____ No____
34 Are tools and ladders kept in the garage? Yes____ No____
35 Are all garage doors lighted on the outside by at least a 40 watt light? Yes____ No____