Conduct a Security Survey
The information on this page is copyrighted by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and is used with permission. © 1988 AARP
Even with these tips, my home still won’t be burglar-proof, RIGHT? RIGHT. No home is burglar-proof. But most burglars are opportunists looking for an easy target. Your secured home is much less “attractive” than the one down the street that isn’t protected. Your local burglar can tell you that.
The Security Survey of your home should start outside from the burglar’s point of view:
1. Do trees and shrubbery obscure doors or windows?
2. Are any entrances to your home unlighted?
3. Are any openings to your home (sky-lights, crawl spaces or vents) unprotected?
4. Are any entrances unlocked, including the garage and inside doors?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have a problem to correct.
Now let’s look at your house from the inside:
5. Are exterior doors secured using a deadbolt lock, minimum one-inch throw?
6. Does the basement door have extra protection, such as a padlock?
7. Does the garage door lock?
8. Does the garage entrance to your home have a deadbolt lock (with a minimum one-inch throw)?
9. Are all exterior doors (including the garage) strong enough to withstand excessive force?
10. Are sliding doors and windows secure against forced locks and/or lifting out of their frames?
11. Are hinges pinned to prevent removal?
12. Is there a peephole viewer (180 degree) on the main entrance door?
13. Are double-hung windows secured with a pin or extra lock to discourage jimmying?
14. Are panes in louvred or jalousie windows well-fastened to the metal retainers? Are they reinforced with metal screening or grating on the inside?
15. Do the casement window latches work properly, without excess play?
If you answered no to any of these questions, you have a problem to correct.
To further protect your belongings and help recover stolen items:
- Clearly mark your valuables with an identifying number. Your local law enforcement agency may be able to assist you in obtaining an engraver and determining the proper identifying number to use.
- Establish a security closet inside your house for storing valuables. The closet door should be as secure as your exterior doors, with a deadbolt lock and pinned hinges on a solid wood door.
- Post your house number clearly and keep it well-lighted at night. This will help the sheriff or police respond to an emergency, as well as assist in the reporting of one.
- Be a good neighbor. Watch out for suspicious activity on your block, and call for help immediately when you observe it.
Now that you know what to look for in securing your house, find out how. Your local law enforcement agency may be able to show you the techniques to use to “pass” your security survey. Remember: no home is burglar-proof, but experience has shown that you can substantially reduce your chances of being burglarized by reducing easy opportunities.
Things you should know about security surveys:
A security survey is a strange, new concept, RIGHT? WRONG. A security survey may be a new idea to you, but there are people in your area who know all about them, including your neighborhood burglar. Check with your police or sheriff’s department for assistance.
I have to pay an expensive expert, RIGHT? WRONG. Your local law enforcement office may be able to help free of charge. Just ask.
I have to read volumes of information, RIGHT? WRONG. This information on this internet page, along with the recommendations of your local law enforcement agency, are all you need to conduct a security survey.
I have to buy expensive equipment, RIGHT? WRONG. A security survey is based on simple, inexpensive techniques to safeguard your home against intruders. These techniques may or may not include alarm systems, depending on your needs.