Secure Your Home. These crime prevention tips can help in the areas of home security, making homes less of a target.
Exterior doors should be of solid core construction. Wood panel doors should be checked to make sure joints haven't become unglued and panels are not split or rotten. Do not use spring bolt (Key-in-Knob) locks for exterior doors. A wide-angle viewer in the door lets you see your visitor before opening the door. A minimum view of 190 degree is recommended for door viewers.
Metal strike plates should be installed with wood screws of a minimum 3 inch length.
A door chain can easily be kicked in. Install a 1 inch deadbolt and double cylinders with hardened cylinder guards. If the double cylinder deadbolt is locked when the house is occupied, a key should be left in the inside keyhole as a means of fast exit in case of fire.
Secure sliding doors to keep them from sliding or being pried up and out of the track by drilling a downward sloping hole through the top channel into the top portion of the sliding door frame and installing a key-operated deadbolt. For additional security, a padlock keyed to your front door may be added. Sticks and bars may be placed in the track of the door to prevent it from moving, but they can be easily removed by burglars.
Consider installing burglar bars. These should be easily opened from the inside, with a key or latch that requires no special knowledge to make sure at least one bedroom window on the ground level and second floor can be opened easily for escape from fire. Prior to installation, check local fire and building requirements. Another consideration is to install storm windows that not only offer burglar protection, but also conserve energy.
Warning: One bedroom window on the ground and second floor must be left available as a fire exit.
These must be of hardened steel and installed with carriage bolts through the door or gate. Use large washers on the inside. After the nuts are secured, deface the threads of the bolt ends with a hammer to keep the nuts from being removed.
The most common assault on a padlock is with a large bolt cutter or pry bar. Look for padlocks with hardened steel, a half-inch shackle, a double locking mechanism, a five-pin tumbler and a key retaining feature (you can't remove the key until the padlock is locked). Record and then remove the key code numbers from all padlocks. This number, normally located on the bottom of padlocks, enables a burglar to obtain a key to your padlock.
Shrubbery should never block the view of your doors or windows. An intruder may hide behind the shrubbery while trying to gain entrance to your home. Nameplates on doors or mailbox should have last name only. Do not indicate your gender or marital status. House numbers should be clearly visible from the street. This will help the police find your house quickly in case of an emergency.
The best security fence is a chain-link fence with a minimum height of six feet. The fencing material should be at least number 9 gauge. A privacy (solid) fence affords a burglar a hiding place.
Always keep garage doors closed and locked. Intruders may seek entrance through the garage. Keep tools in a locked location. The single lock on the garage door is not enough. Secure your garage door by:
- Adding another bolt and padlock to the opposite side
- Installing a pair of cane bolts to the inside (these operate from the inside only)
- Covering garage windows so burglars cannot see whether or not the garage is empty
- Displaying your house number on your garage door or backyard fence - this will help police locate your house quickly when responding to a call
- Securing attic openings in attached carports or garages by installing a case-hardened hasp and padlock
Secure the services of a reputable alarm company. Space detection methods (motion detectors) are excellent. Physical contact methods are fair, but tend to send false alarms. Any alarm system should include a battery failsafe back-up, smoke-sensing capability, read-out ability to check working of system, and a horn sounding device installed in attic through vent. In addition to the alarm sounding at the residence, your system should transmit a signal to the alarm company.
Note: The City requires an alarm permit. Contact the Denton Police Records division at 940-349-7973. The permit is $5 per year. The permit gives emergency and contact information needed by the Police Department.