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Home Checklist

No house is absolutely burglarproof when professional burglars target your home. But they would be the first to admit that you can discourage burglars if you beef up your home security. You can begin this process by identifying your weak areas and fixing them.  Every “no” check mark shows a weak point that may let a burglar into your home. Remember that this checklist only points out your weak areas. You have not improved your home security until these are corrected. Complying with these suggestions will not, of course, make your property burglar proof, but it will certainly reduce your risk of becoming a victim.




1. Do you belong to a Neighborhood Watch Program?

2. Do you keep a list of all valuable property?

3. Do you have a list of the serial numbers of your electronic equipment (TV, VCR, etc.)?

4. Do you have a description of other valuable property that does not have a number?

5. Have you taken photographs or videotaped your jewelry, antiques, or collectibles?

6. Do you avoid unnecessary display or publicity of your valuables?

7. Do you keep excess cash and other valuables in a bank?

8. Do you plan so that you do not need to "hide-a-key" on your property?

9. Have you told your family what to do if they discover a burglar breaking in or already in the house?

10. Have you told you family to leave the house undisturbed and call the Police if they discover a burglary has been committed?

11. Do you have emergency phone numbers listed by your telephone?

12. Do you know the non-emergency dispatch number to the Police? (201)939-2900

13. Is your house number illuminated and easily visible from the street during all hours?

14. Have you locked up your ladder and avoided trellises or drainpipes that could be used by a burglar to climb to the second floor or roof?




15. Are lights installed around the perimeter of your house?

16. Is the front door well lit?

17. Is the back door well lit?

18. Are exterior lights controlled by photocell?

19. Is public or residence lighting sufficient to illuminate all sides of the dwelling?

20. Are your trees and shrubs trimmed to eliminate hiding places?

21. Are shrubs and bushes trimmed to a maximum height of no more than 42 inches?

22. Are large trees trimmed so the lower branches are more than (7) feet off the ground?

23. Are ground plants under windows maintained at a height that is below the widow sill?




24. Are your exterior doors of solid core construction?

25. Do entry doors have a wide-angle optical viewer?

26. Do exterior doors have cylinder-type deadbolt locks with at least a one-inch throw and beveled cylinder guard?

27. Do the doors without cylinder locks have a heavy bolt or some similar secure device that can be operated only from the inside?

28. Can all of your doors (basement, porch, French, balcony) be securely locked?

29. Are your locks all in good repair?

30. Are the door strike plates (the jam fastening that receives the bolt in the locking position) installed with three-inch screws?

31. Do you know everyone who has a key to your house? Or are keys still in possession of previous owners and friends?

32. Do all out-swing doors have a hinge with a locking pin or non-removable pins?

33. Are entry areas unobstructed by shrubbery and other decor to permit maximum visibility?

34. Does the porch light have a minimum 60-watt bulb?

35. Do sliding doors have an auxiliary lock that locks both the door panels’ together or active side to the frame?

36. Is the garage door secured with a padlock, hasp, or other good auxiliary lock? Do you use it?

37. Is the interior door from your garage to your home treated as an exterior door in terms of security? (Solid core, deadbolt...)

38. Do you lock your garage door whenever you are not in the garage?

39. Do you lock your car and take the keys out even when it is parked in your garage?

40. Do you leave your garage door opener in a visible spot in your car?

41. Do you remove all valuables from plain sight in your vehicle?




42. Are all windows equipped with auxiliary locks or pinned?

43. Have you replaced or secured louvered windows?

44. Are your window locks properly and securely mounted?

45. Do you keep your windows locked when they are shut?

46. Do you have good, secure locks on garage windows?

47. Do you have garage windows covered with curtains or blinds?

48.Are you as careful of basement and second floor windows as you are of those on the first floor?

49. Do you have defense plants (large, thorny plants) planted below easily accessed windows?

50. Have you removed items below windows that could be used to reach the window?

51. Do you keep your drapes drawn at night so people can't see in your home?

52. Can windows left open for ventilation be secured?




53. Did you stop all deliveries and arrange for a trusted neighbor or family member to pick up your mail, newspaper and packages?

54. Did you ask a trusted neighbor to watch your residence while you are away?

55. Did you leave your vacation address and telephone number with a trusted neighbor so you can be reached in case of an emergency?

56. Did you test your smoke and burglar alarms?

57. Did you arrange for someone to mow your lawn, rake leaves and maintain the yard to give the home a lived in look?

58. Did you plug in timers to turn lights and radio or television on and off at appropriate times?

59. Did you turn the bell or ringer on your telephone down low?

60. If you have call forwarding, did you have your called forwarded to a trusted friend or relative?

61. Did you leave shades and blinds in a normal position?

62. Did you close and lock garage doors and windows?

63. Did you ask a neighbor to park in your driveway so it appears someone is home?

64. Did you arrange for your garbage to be put out on trash day?

65. Did you ask the Police for a vacation house check while you are away?


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