Home Safety: Top Tips to Burglarproof Your House

Jan. 26, 2009
After years of decline, some cities are seeing a rise in burglary and other property crimes, a pattern that often occurs in a weakening economy. Follow these low-cost and free strategies to protect your home without draining your wallet on an expensive security system.

“There are at least half a dozen free things you can do right now to make your home a less attractive target for thieves,” said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief of ShopSmart, a magazine from the publisher of Consumer Reports. “An alarm system or even a dog can be effective, but so is taking your name off your mailbox and being mindful of your trash.”

ShopSmart consulted with security professionals, experts at the National Crime Prevention Council and on-staff authorities on doors, locks, alarms and more to gather home security tips:

  • Install motion-sensor lights around the perimeter of your home. Outdoor lighting around the perimeter of your home will help stop a thief from approaching under cover of darkness. Look for lights with an adjustable sensitivity setting to avoid false alarms. Cost: $23+
  • Make sure windows and doors are closed and locked whenever you leave the house. This may seem obvious, but they are the entry points in one-third of all burglaries. To reinforce side-sliding windows and sliding doors, put a sturdy bar or board in the track. Cost: Free
  • Take your name off your mailbox. A thief can call 411 with your name and get your home number, then call to find out if you are home. Cost: Free
  • Install a deadbolt with a sturdy strike plate secured by 3-inch screws that go into the frame. A thief might be able to kick in a door that has anything else. Cost: $30+
  • Skip doors with big glass panes or laminate the glass. Thin sheets of plastic will make glass tough to smash and, when it is installed correctly, are invisible. Cost: $9 per square foot, or about $135 for a 3x5 foot window, plus installation
  • Lock up the ladder and other tools in the garage. This will eliminate the chance of a burglar using them to climb in or smash a window. Cost: Free
  • Turn down the telephone ringer when no one is home. Loud rings can often be heard from outside – a dead giveaway that the coast is clear for a burglary. Cost: Free
  • Put lamps and a radio on a timer. This will make a house look and sound lived-in even when you're out. These simple gadgets are sold at hardware and discount stores and are a snap to set up. Cost: $9 to $18
  • Destroy evidence of large-ticket purchases in the trash. A big-screen TV box on the curb could be a big advertisement for criminals looking for a target. Cost: Free
  • Hide valuables in the right places. Putting a key under a fake rock, jewelry in the sock drawer and cash under the mattress are old tricks that will not fool anyone. Instead, stash valuables in a fake wall outlet, above a ceiling tile, in a hallowed-out book among dozens of real books or in the leg of a coffee table. Cost: From free to $25
About the Author

Laura Walter

Laura Walter was formerly senior editor of EHS Today. She is a subject matter expert in EHS compliance and government issues and has covered a variety of topics relating to occupational safety and health. Her writing has earned awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the Trade Association Business Publications International (TABPI) and APEX Awards for Publication Excellence. Her debut novel, Body of Stars (Dutton) was published in 2021.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!