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Home & Auto Safety Tips


Doors, Windows, Locks and Keys


  • All doors that lead to the outside should be metal or solid-core, 1-3/4 inch hardwood. Most hollow doors can be easily broken through.


  • Each door should fit in its frame with no more than 1/8 inch clearance between the door and frame. A metal lining on the inside of an exterior door can prevent drilling, sawing, or kicking through.


  • Make sure all doors to the outside have good locks -- deadbolt locks with a minimum 1-1/2 inch bolt. Make sure locks are also installed on screen and storm doors, garage doors, cellar doors, patio doors, and any other door that leads to the outside (including second-floor patios or decks).


  • Always use the locks you have, on both your home and your garage. Lock up every time you go out, even if it's only for a few minutes. Almost 50 percent of burglars enter homes or property through unlocked doors or windows.


  • Locks on doors should be placed at least 40 inches away from windows, glass panels, and other potential openings such as mail slots. Make it hard for a burglar to reach in and unlock your door. Or install double cylinder, deadbolt locks that need to be opened with a key from the inside as well as the outside.


  • Door hinges should always be on the inside and designed so that hinge pin cannot be removed from the outside.


  • Never hide keys outside, such as under a bush or in a flower pot. Burglars know where to find "secret" hiding places. It's much better to leave a key with a trusted neighbor.


  • Don't place identification tags on your keys or key rings; if you lose them, you give potential burglars help.


  • Secure sliding glass doors with commercially available bars or locks, or put a wooden dowel or broom handle in the door track.


  • Burglars look for sliding glass doors because they are the easiest to open.


  • Secure roof openings and exhaust systems.


  • Make sure windows, especially those at ground level, have good locks-and always use the locks you have.


  • The center thumb-turn locks on many standard windows can be easily pried open or reached through a broken pane. For especially vulnerable windows, install key locks or consider installing grates or grilles (but make sure the devices can be easily detached to allow quick escape during a fire or other emergency).


  • Shrubbery and Lighting


  • Make sure all porches and other possible entrances are well lit, with at least 40-watt bulbs. A well-lit house is far better protected than a house without lights.


  • Overgrown bushes, tree limbs, or landscaping can provide cover for burglars. Trim them to the height of porches or windows.


Other Tips

  • Always lock up ladders and tools. Don't give a burglar the resources to break into your home.


  • Window air conditioning units should be bolted to the wall to prevent them from being easily removed from the outside.


  • If you have recently purchased a television, stereo equipment, or other household item, do not throw the empty boxes in the garbage. This is a sure sign and strong temptation for burglars. Rather cut them up and bundle for recycling with labeling not visable.


  • Turn the ringer on the telephone down low. If a burglar is around, he won't be alerted to your absence by a ringing phone.


  • If you are out during the day or on vacation, use an automatic timer to turn on lights and a radio at different times of the day. It is an easy way to disguise the fact they you aren't home.


  • Have a trusted neighbor pick up your mail and newspapers every day while you are on vacation. Have a neighbor use your garbage cans occasionally. During the winter, arrange to have snow shoveled.

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