Security Measures Homeowners Can Take:
DOORS: Since most intruders enter a residence by physically compromising a door or frame, strong doors and frames are essential to your security. Lock your doors at all times, even if you are at home.
WINDOWS: Don’t make it easy for a burglar by leaving your windows unlocked. Locks that come with the windows are not effective. Purchase a sturdy lock and keep it locked.
HOUSE NUMBERS: Place your house number on the front of your house and on the fence outside your back gate if you have one. Use 6-inch high letters of reflective material or black on white. You may also consider placing your house number on the back of your home.
STREETLIGHTS: If your streetlights are not working, report it to the Water and Light Department at (573) 875-2555.
LIGHTING: Light the outside of your house. Exterior lights are important, especially near doors, windows and in carports. Criminals do not like light and will avoid it.
LANDSCAPING: Keep the shrubbery trimmed. Thick, tall shrubbery provides cover for a burglar and lets him work undetected. Where possible, place thorny plants under windows and along fences.
DECALS & STICKERS: Mark your valuable possessions.
MAILBOX: Your mailbox should be located so it can be seen and observed by your neighbors. Put only your street address on the box, not your name.
WIDE ANGLE VIEWERS: Put a peephole in your front door and USE IT. Never open your door to a stranger. Make sure the viewer gives you at least 180 degrees of visibility. If there are children in your family, consider installing a second peephole at a height the children can use.
GARAGE DOOR: Keep it closed and locked. This helps protect valuable property stored in your garage and prevents access to interior doors to the house. An open garage is an invitation for a burglar.
GARAGE WINDOWS: Garage windows should be locked and reinforced with mesh screening. The should be covered with shades or blinds so a burglar cannot look inside for possible loot or for an indication of someone being home.
ARCADIA DOORS: Secure your patio doors, too. A broomstick, dowel, or finger-operated lock can help. A pintype lock or a key is better. Two or three screws in the overhead track will reduce the chance of lifting the door out of the track.
FENCES: Fences make it harder for a burglar to carry away large items, but are only effective if the gates are locked. Gates should always be locked.
WARNING SIGNS: A sign indicating an alarm system has been installed, that a dangerous dog is present, or other warning signs can be a good deterrent. To be effective signs must be of
sufficient size to attract attention and be in a conspicuous place.
PERIMETER LIGHTING: All sides of your home should be protected by security lighting. Attractive, low-wattage lighting may be an effective way to keep intruders from getting interested.
SIDE AND REAR WINDOWS: Windows that cannot be seen from the street because of location or fences are a favorite place of entry for burglars. These windows must be locked with secure locks. They may require the use of iron bars, grills, or special burglar resistant glass or plastic panes.
ROOF OPENINGS: All skylights, roof vent openings or any other potential ceiling entrance should be reinforced with metal bars or heavy screens.
STORAGE SHEDS: Storage sheds or outside buildings should be securely locked. Any tools or equipment which could help a burglar break into your house should be locked in the shed or in a locked garage.
Lock Crime Out Of Your Home!
Making your home safer from crime doesn’t always mean having to install expensive alarms. Effective home security starts with properly locked doors and windows.
- All exterior doors should be either metal or solid wood.
- For added security, use strong door hinges on the inside of the door, with non-removable or hidden pins.
- Every entry door should be well-lighted and have a wide-angle door viewer so you can see who is outside without opening the door.
Strong, reliable locks are essential to effective home security. Always keep doors and windows locked.
A spring latch lock is a privacy lock and should not be used for security. It offers little protection.
It is highly recommended that all exterior doors be equipped with a good quality deadbolt lock.
A deadbolt should have the following:
- A solid, case-hardened steel cylinder guard; (a rotating cylinder guard is even better).
- A bolt that protrudes at least 1 inch.
- Case-hardened fasteners to hold both pieces of the lock securely to the door.
Another excellent lock is the rim lock or vertical deadbolt. It comes in single or double cylinder varieties and features two vertical deadbolts that slide into hardened metal hasps attached
to the door jamb. This type of lock cannot be slipped, forced with a wrench, or pried open.
Another type of rim lock utilizes a large, horizontal, sliding bar. It is less expensive than other types but equally effective. However, both of these locks are only as strong as the screws that attaché them to the doorframe.
Security Strike Plate
The strike plates on all exterior doors should be anchored with screws 2 to 3 inches long so they
reach well into the stud. This will make it extremely difficult for a burglar to kick the door open.
Many homes have doors which open to the outside, exposing the hinge pins. Despite your good strong lock, the burglar can remove the pins and lift the door from the frame. To prevent this:
- remove two opposing screws from each leaf of the hinge.
- Screw a lag bolt into the jamb, sawing off the head. Or use a headless nail, leaving 1/2 inch of the nail or bolt protruding.
- Drill out the opposite hole in the jamb leaf. Do this to both top and bottom hinges.
When the door is closed the hinge pins may be removed, but the door will remain firmly in place. If the hinge screws do not line up with each other, do the following:
- Drive the pin into the frame just below the hinge.
- Drill a hole in the edge of the door.
- The hole should be larger in diameter than the pin. This is good protection for any door, regardless of how the hinge pins have been installed.
*There are hinges which have non-removable pins or hinges containing set screws to prevent pin removal.
Casement windows secure best when the latch works properly and the window shuts tightly. Additional window locks can be purchased for your windows. Drilling a small hole through the latch frame and the latch handle, and inserting a metal pin or small padlock can provide additional security.
- There are several types of anti-slide locks available for securing sliding windows.
- Metal pins, screws and lag bolts can also be used. Do not use a lock that is difficult to remove on a window that is an emergency exit.
- Installing wood screws in the upper track above the window can provide additional security.
- A wood dowel the appropriate diameter may also be used in place of the screws.
- Most standard double-hung windows have thumb turn locks between the two window panels. Don’t rely on these. They can be pried open or easily reached through a broken pane.
- An easy, inexpensive way to secure your windows is to use the “pin” trick. Drill an angled hole through the top frame of the lower window partially into the frame of the upper window. Then insert a nail or eyebolt. The window can’t be opened until you remove the nail.
- Lighting is one of the most cost-effective deterrents to burglary. Indoor lighting gives the
impression that a home is occupied.
- If you are going to be away from your home, consider using automatic timers to switch interior lights on and off at preset times.
- Outdoor lighting can eliminate hiding places. Install exterior lighting near porches, rear and side doorways, garage doors, and all other points of entry.
- Entryways to your home always should be well lighted.
- Place lights out of reach from the ground so the bulbs cannot be removed or broken.
- Aim some lights away from the house so you can see if anyone is approaching, or install motion-sensing lights which turn on automatically as someone approaches.
Shrubs & Landscaping
- Your home’s walkways and landscaping should direct visitors to the main entrance and away from private areas.
- The landscaping should provide maximum visibility to and from your house.
- Trim shrubbery that could conceal criminal activity near doors and windows.
- Provide light on areas of dense shrubs and trees that could serve as hiding places.
- Cut back tree limbs that could help thieves climb into windows, and keep yard fencing low enough to avoid giving criminals places to hide.