Safe at Home

  • Clearly display your house number so police and other emergency vehicles can find your home quickly.
  • Don't hide your house keys under the doormat or in a flowerpot. It's much wiser to give an extra key to a trusted neighbor.
  • If you hear a noise that sounds like someone breaking in or moving around, quietly call the police and wait calmly until they arrive. If you can leave safely, do so. Otherwise, lock yourself in a room you are in and stay on the phone with the dispatcher.
  • If you see a screen that has been cut, broken windows, or a door that's been left open, don't go in. Call the police.
  • Keep written records of all furniture, jewelry and electronic products. If possible, keep these records in a safe deposit box, fireproof safe, or other secure place. Take pictures or a video, and keep purchase information and serial numbers if available. These help law enforcement agencies track recovered items.
  • Make sure all doors to the outside are metal or solid.
  • Make sure all doors to the outside have good, sturdy locks.
  • Make sure all porches and other possible entrances are well-lit.
  • Make sure your windows, especially at ground level, have good locks and use them.
  • Secure sliding glass doors with commercially available bars or locks.
  • Trim any bushes or trees that hide doors or windows. Keep ladders, tools, toys, and recreational equipment inside when you're not using them.
  • Use the locks you have. Always lock up your home when you go out, even if it's only for a few minutes.

When You Go Away

  • Ask a trusted neighbor to collect your mail and newspaper.
  • Leave word about when you're leaving, when you'll return, and how you can be reached in an emergency.
  • Put automatic timers on at least two lights (and possibly a radio) to help your home look and sound lived-in.