How to Keep Burglars Out of Your Home or Apartment

If you do not want burglars entering your home, you have got to make your house the "toughest target" on your block. Unfortunately, many people make it easy for the thief to choose their home as their next target. How? By leaving doors and windows unlocked and even open. Leaving garage doors open. By letting shrubs and bushes grow that covers their windows making it easy for window peepers and burglars to hide. And by failing to install motion sensor exterior lighting.


While there are no guarantees, police say the number one step to prevent residential burglaries is to install and use deadbolt locks. It's just as important to keep your doors locked when you are home as when you are away from home. A good deadbolt lock should extend a minimum of 1" when fully locked.

Doors–All exterior doors should be solid core in construction, or metal clad. Hollow core doors are easily kicked or battered in.

Strike Plates–This is the metal piece that mounts on the door jamb. The screws that hold this in place should be a minimum of 2 1/2" to 3". This will help prevent the door from being kicked open.

Motion sensor lights–These are an excellent investment. Burglars don't like to take a chance of being seen. Motion sensor lights will help light up your entrance, helping to scare away prowlers, and also lighting up the area for you or your guests.

Trim your shrubbery–Keep the bushes, hedges and shrubs around your house neatly trimmed and cut low. A jungle may be beautiful in the wilds or in a zoo, but a jungle around your house might conceal a hiding burglar or peeping tom. Shrubs should be 18 to 24 inches away from all entry points. Hedges should be cut 6 inches below the bottom level of all windows.

Other Tips–Before an extended absence, ask someone to watch your home, collect the mail and papers, and cut the lawn. This will give your home a "lived-in" look.


Sgt. Mark Buschena is a veteran police officer with32 years experience. He is the author of "The Naked Truth About Personal Protection!" How to protect your life, family and property. Simple ways to protect yourself from thieves, muggers, rapists, robbers, burglars, con-artists, pick-pockets and other scum-of-the-earth! Your home is your castle. For more information on how to protect your home, your family and yourself, hurry on over to

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