- Do not list your full name on your mailbox or your entry in the telephone book. Use only your initial and your last name.
- Change all the locks and tumblers when you move into a new house.
- Instead of keeping a spare key in a mailbox, under the doormat, or on a nail behind the garage, wrap the key in foil or put it in a 35mm film can and bury it where you can easily find it if you need it.
- If you lose your keys, change the locks immediately.
- For the most effective alarm system, conceal all wiring. A professional burglar looks for places where he or she can disconnect the security system.
- If you have a faulty alarm that frequently goes off, get it fixed immediately and tell your neighbors that it's been repaired. Many people ignore an alarm that goes off periodically.
- Have lights at all entrances. If the entrances to your home are dark, consider installing lighting with an infrared detector. Most thieves don't want to be observed trying to get in a door.
- It's easy for a burglar to pry through rot. Replace rotted door frames with new, solid wood.
- Have deadbolt locks on all doors. A door with glass panels should be fortified, replaced, or secured with deadbolts that can only be opened with a key.
- Protect your windows with one or more good locks, an alarm system, burglar-resistant glass, or many small panes instead of one large area of glass.
- When installing a window lock, drip some solder on the screw heads. It will stop a burglar from unscrewing the lock after cutting a small hole in the windowpane.
- Broom handles laid in a sliding glass door runner make an excellent security brace so doors can't be opened.
- Cactus and other thin, thorny plants that fall below windowsill level add extra protection to windows.
- Trees located near windows or large thick shrubbery that might shield a burglar from view can be major flaws in your home-protection plan.
- If you frost or cover your garage windows, burglars won't be able to tell if your car is gone.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked even when your car is not in the garage.
- Install a peephole in the door separating the house from the garage. If you hear suspicious sounds, you can check without opening the door.
- Plan to "burglarize" yourself. You'll discover any weaknesses in your security system that may have previously escaped your notice.
- Talk to your neighbors about any suspicious people or strange cars you notice lurking about.
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