Prevent Burglary

An important step in preventing home burglary and other crimes is to make sure that a residence is as secure as possible. A careful inspection by someone trained to observe security precautions can indicate features that would make entry easy or difficult for a prospective burglar.   View a Home Security Check List PDF.

This is what a burglar will not tell you:  Burglar’s Comments

Chances are good that home security can be improved. Take a hard look at entry points in your residence and determine what steps can reduce vulnerability.

A security inspection begins at the front door and goes on to include side and rear doors, windows, locks, lights, and landscaping. Checks in the orange column of this checklist indicate security weaknesses or hazards that require attention.

This survey may be used by law enforcement professionals or others trained in crime prevention. Neither the inspector, the local law enforcement agency, nor NSA has any liability to you other than to use our best judgment in this inspection and these recommendations.

We appreciate the opportunity to be of assistance to you in the community’s fight against crime. We urge you not only to take steps to make your own residence safer.

FRONT ENTRANCE
Is the door itself of metal or solid wood construction?
Is the door frame strong enough and tight enough to prevent forcing or spreading?
Are door hinges protected from removal from the outside?
Are there windows in the door or within 40 inches of the locks?
Is the door secured by a deadbolt lock with a minimum 1-inch throw?
Are strikes and strike plates adequate and properly installed with 3-inch screws?
If there are no windows in the door, is there a wide-angle viewer or voice intercom device?
Can the lock mechanism be reached through a mail slot, delivery port, or pet entrance at the doorway?
Is there a screen or storm door with an adequate lock?
Is the exterior or front entrance lighted with at least a 40-watt light?
Can the front entrance be observed from the street or public areas?
Does a porch or landscaping offer concealment from view from the street or public areas?

SIDE OR REAR ENTRANCE
Secure The  Side Gates so burglars cannot get into your backyard.SecureYourGates
Is your back door metal or solid wood construction?
Is the door frame strong enough and tight enough to prevent forcing or spreading?
Are door hinges protected from removal from the outside?
Are there windows in the door or within 40 inches of the locks?
Is the door secured by a deadbolt lock with a minimum 1-inch throw?
Are strikes and strike plates adequate and properly installed with 3-inch screws?
Can the lock mechanism be reached from outside through a delivery port or pet entrance?
Is the exterior of the doorway lighted by at least a 40-watt bulb with a motion sensor?
Is the doorway concealed from the street or neighbor’s view by a porch, fence, or landscaping?
Does the doorway have a screen or storm door with an adequate lock?
If the door is a sliding glass door, is the sliding panel secured from being lifted out of the track?
Is a Charley-bar or key-operated lock used on sliding glass doors?

ENTRANCES FROM THE GARAGE AND BASEMENT
Are all entrances to living quarters from the garage and basement of metal or solid wood construction?
Does the door from the garage to the living quarters have locks adequate for the exterior entrance?
Does the door from the basement to the living quarters have an adequate lock operated from the living quarter’s side?

GROUND FLOOR WINDOWS
Do all windows have adequate locks in operating condition?
Do windows have screens or storm windows that lock from the inside?
Do any windows open onto areas that offer special risk to burglary?
If so, do these windows have security screens or grills?
Are exterior areas of windows free from concealing structures or landscaping?
Is the exterior adequately lighted in all window areas?

UPPER FLOOR WINDOWS
Do any upper-floor windows open onto the porch or garage roofs or roofs of adjoining buildings?
If so, have they secured as adequately as if they were at ground level?
Are trees and shrubbery kept trimmed back from upper-floor windows?
Are ladders kept outside the house where they are accessible?

BASEMENT DOORS AND WINDOWS
Is there a door from outside to the basement?
If so, is that door adequately secured for an exterior door?
Is the outside basement entrance lighted by exterior light of at least 40 watts?
Is the outside basement door concealed from the street or neighbors?
Are all basement windows adequately secured against the entrance?

GARAGE DOORS AND WINDOWS
Is the automobile entrance door to the garage equipped with an adequate locking device?
Is the garage door kept closed and locked at all times?
Are garage windows secured adequately for ground-floor windows?
Is the outside utility entrance to the garage as secure as required for any ground-floor entrance?
Are tools, ladders, and other equipment kept in the garage?
Are all garage doors lighted on the outside by at least a 40-watt bulb?