Home security survey

Is your home an easy target for burglary? Take this test to find out.

Burglars, like most people, follow the path of least resistance when going about their work. The first step in protecting your home against break-ins is to identify the features of your home that may make it an attractive target for burglars. Start your security inspection at your front door, and proceed through your home, inspecting all doors, windows, locks, and lights. Don’t forget to examine the landscaping. Answer all the questions to determine your vulnerability to burglary and theft. Circle any “NO” answer.

Doors

1. Are all doors solid core construction or metal clad?
2. Are there windows within 40 inches of door’s lock?
3. Are the doorframes strong and tight to prevent spreading?
4. Are strikes and strike plates on each door adequate and properly secured?
5. Do entrance doors have deadbolt locks with a minimum one-inch throw?
6. Are all entrances lighted with at least a 40-watt light?
7. Can the front entrance be observed from the street or public area?
8. If there is a sliding glass door, are doors adjusted to prevent locks from being forced or the door lifted out?
9. Are hinges pinned to prevent removal?
10. Is there an auxillary lock on sliding glass doors?
11. Is there a peephole in the main entrance door?

Windows

1. Do all windows have adequate locks in good operating condition?
2. Are exterior areas near windows free of concealing landscaping?
3. Are trees and shrubs trimmed away from upper floor windows?
4. Are there auxillary locks for all windows?

Count the number of “NO” answers you circled. Each “NO” indicates an area of vulnerability in your security practices. As you reduce your vulnerability you improve your chances of not be a crime victim. If you have more than a couple “NO” answers, chances are good a burglar could break into your home. Consider reducing your risks with simple improvements in locks, doors, windows, lighting and landscaping. You may even want to consider a home security system. If you rent notify the management of your concerns. Contact your local law enforcement agency for a home security survey. Remember that you can protect yourself from burglary with simple improvements to your home and the application of common sense.

Here are some additional suggestions to further protect property and aid in the recovery of stolen property.

*Be a good neighbor by watching for suspicious activity. Call your local law enforcement agency whenever you see something that doesn’t seem quite right.

*Mark your valuables with an identifying number such as your driver’s license or social security number. You may use an electric engraving tool. Call your local law enforcement agency to find out about borrowing such a tool.

*Post your house or apartment number prominently and keep it well lighted at night. This will aid your local law enforcement agency or emergency medical service to locate you in the event of an emergency.

For further information on this or others safety topics please contact the University of Florida Police Department’s Community Services Division at 392-1409.