How To Burglar-Proof Your Doors

The majority of devices mentioned in this report cost very little. All of them will help reduce burglary and make your house or apartment more secure.

Begin with a home "security" check. Start with the front door and work clockwise around the entire inside of your home, finishing with the back yard, fence and shrubs, gates, and garage.

Shrubbery should never block the view of your front door. This allows an intruder the opportunity of privacy to gain entrance. A wide-angle viewer in the door lets you know your visitor in advance. This item is recommended over a chain lock.

Locks, Bolts & Hinges

  • Dead-Latch: A dead-latch is an inexpensive lockset that keeps the burglar from simply slipping your door open with a plastic credit card. This method of entry is common in many areas, but very easy to prevent.
  • Rim Lock: 1-inch deadbolt lock which is installed on the inside surface of the door. It is less expensive than other types of locks, but equally effective for security.
  • "Jimmy Proof" Rim Lock: "Jimmy Proof" Rim Locks are another type of lock that is installed on the inside surface of the door. This lock has vertical deadbolts, which is an approved locking device.
  • Cane Bolts: 1/2 inch in diameter by 12 inch high installed at the top and bottom of the inactive door offers minimum security. Many homes with pairs of doors use half-barrel slide bolts on the inactive door. These are week and totally inadequate.
  • Flush Bolts: Installed at the top and bottom of the inactive door or a pair of doors, flush bolts offer additional security, since the intruder cannot get at these devices to tamper with them if the doors are locked.

Hinge Protection

Some exterior doors are improperly installed so that the hinges are installed from the outside. To protect such a door from being lifted from its hinges by pulling the hinge pin, follow these simple steps:

  1. Remove two screws, opposite each other, from both leaves of the hinge.
  2. Insert screw or concrete nail into jamb leaf, protruding 1/2 inch.
  3. Drill out the opposing screw hole in the door. Do this in the top and bottom hinge of the door. When closed, the hinge pins may be removed, but the door will remain firmly in place.

How To Burglar-Proof Your Windows

Many burglars enter homes by simply breaking glass windows. A good deterrent is to have better quality glass installed at vulnerable points around the perimeter of your residence. Most burglars avoid attempting to break certain types of glass due to the fear of attracting attention:

Glass / Panes

  • Laminated Glass: Laminated glass is made by a vinyl or plastic interlayer sandwiched between two layers of glass. This type of glass adds additional strength to your windows. To gain entry, a burglar would have to strike the glass repeatedly in the same spot in order to make a small opening. Most burglars are reluctant to create this type of noise for fear of being detected.
  • Tempered Glass: Tempered glass is made by placing a piece of regular glass in an oven, bringing it almost to the melting point, and then chilling it rapidly. This causes a thin layer to form around the glass. Fully tempered glass is four to five times stronger than regular glass.
  • Wired Glass: Wired glass adds the benefit of a visible deterrent. Extra effort will be needed to break the glass and then cut through the wire located within the glass, in order to gain entry.
  • Plastics: Plastic material is divided into two types: acrylic or polycarbonate. The acrylics are more than ten times stronger than glass of the same thickness and are commonly called Plexiglas. Polycarbonate sheets are superior to acrylics and are advertised as 250 times more impact resistant than safety glass, and 20 more times than other transparent plastic.

Windows / Frames

With Sliding Windows the primary objective is to keep the window from sliding or being lifted up and out of the track. There are many manufactured products available for securing windows.

Here are some of the suggestions:

  • Pinned Window Anti-Slide Block Slide Bolt: It is not recommended that you lock a window in a ventilated position. This is an invitation to a prying action that can result in entry. Key locking devices offer no real security, and they can be a fire exit hazard.
  • Casement Windows: Casement windows are the simplest to secure. Make sure the latch works properly and that the "operator" has no excess play. If so, replace the worn hardware.
  • Double-Hung Window: Double-hung window latches may be jimmied open. If a window is not used, screw it shut (except bedrooms). For windows in use, drill a sloping hole into the top of the bottom window, through and into the bottom of the top window, and insert an easily removable pin or nail.
  • Louvre Windows: Louvre windows are bad security risks. Remove and replace with solid glass or other types of ventilating window. You can also protect with a grate or grille (except bedrooms).

Fire Escape Windows

One window in every bedroom on the ground and second floor must be left available as a fire exit, particularly for children and guests in your home. At night, the bedroom window may often be the quickest and safest means of getting out. Because of the danger of fire, decorative grilles are not recommended on bedroom windows.

How To Select A Burglar Alarm

Burglars dislike noise - it attracts attention.

Watchdogs - Not Recommended

A barking dog is the best deterrent in preventing burglaries. However, a watchdog cannot always be depended upon. Some professional burglars have been known to carry delectable "dog snacks" in their pockets - and with a full stomach, some watchdogs make friends easily and forget their purpose of guarding the premises.

Alarm Systems

The most reliable safeguard to protect your home and possessions is a reliable alarm. Many types of burglar alarms can be obtained for residential use. It is advisable, however, that basic hardware security measures be followed first. If additional security is desired, the following recommendations could be helpful.

Obtain estimates from three alarm companies, notifying each of this procedure.

An audible alarm is recommended over silent alarms for residential use in order to first protect persons and secondly, property.

Characteristics of a Good Alarm
Don't depend entirely upon an alarm system to protect you - be sure to use proper locking devices. Any alarm system should include:

  • A battery-powered fail-safe backup
  • Fire-sensing capability
  • Read-out ability to check if a system is working
  • Horn sounding device installed in the attic through vent

When shopping for an alarm system, take this list with you.

Secondary Barrier

If the value of small personal items warrants protection, a secondary barrier is an additional safeguard. On a hinging closet door, install a 1-inch deadbolt lock. Store your jewels, furs, cameras, guns, silverware and other valuables behind this barrier. Be sure to "pin" the hinges (as outlined in "How To Burglar - Proof Your Doors")

These crime prevention techniques combined with a common-sense approach toward safety will help to reduce your risk factors for becoming a crime victim.