Westchester County

Protecting Your Home

Protecting Your Home

Help keep burglars out of your home or apartment by following these tips: 

Windows and Doors

  • Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if you are going out for just a short time, make sure you lock up.
  • Use a solid core or metal door for all entrance points. Other doors can be more easily kicked in or forced open.
  • Install quality dead-bolt locks and strike plates on all exterior doors. Pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open.
  • Keep your garage door closed and locked. Do not rely on an automatic garage door opener to provide security. Also, make sure to lock any connecting door between the garage and your home.
  • Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
  • When moving into a new home, have all locks changed.
  • Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. In addition to keeping them locked, place a metal rod or wooden pole into the track to prevent burglars from forcing it open or lifting it off the track. Special locks are also available to provide better security.
  • Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
  • Make sure door hinges are on the inside.
  • Most windows can be pinned for security.  Drill a 3/16" hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and halfway into the outside frame - place a nail in the hole to secure the window.


Lighting

  • Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
  • Have adequate exterior lighting, including motion-sensitive lights that alert you when someone has come on your property.
  • Make sure there is good lighting around your front door and along any walkway or hallway leading to it.


General tips

  • Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take all items away regularly.
  • Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
  • Trim trees and shrubs so that they do not obscure someone trying to break into your home
  • Consider installing a burglar alarm system
  • Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, or other "secret" hiding places -- burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
  • Never enter your home or apartment if you come home to find a door ajar or window open for unexplained reasons. Call 911 and wait for the police to arrive.