Properly locked doors and windows, plus well-lighted entryways are the keys to effective home safety. The following is information for properly securing your home:
Exterior Doors: These should be metal or solid wood; hinges should be strong, on the inside of the door, with non-removable or hidden pins. Peepholes or wide-angle door viewers allow you to safely see visitors at your doorstep.
Locks: Utilizing these is the key. A lock will do you no good if you leave it unlocked. This is true for doors and windows. Deadbolts are preferred over keyed knobs because they can withstand twisting, turning, and prying. Additionally, double-cylinder deadbolts are preferred over single-cylinder as they require a key to open the lock from both the inside and outside; this is especially true for doors with glass windows within 40 inches of the lock (as an intruder cannot break the glass, reach through, and unlock the door without a key).
Sliding Glass Doors: These offer easy entry into your home; however, you can install keyed locking devices to secure the door frame, adjust track clearances so the doors cannot be pushed out of their track, or put a piece of wood (like a thick broom handle) in the track of the closed door to prevent it from being opened.
Windows: Most standard double-hung windows have thumb-turn locks between 2 window panels. These should not be the only thing you rely on, as they can be pried open or easily reached through a broken pane. An easy fix for this is the "pin trick". Drill an angled hole through the top frame of the lower window, partially into the frame of the upper window, then insert a nail or eyebolt. The window cannot be opened until you remove the nail (in case of a fire, remember to remove the pin if you need to use the window for an exit). A second set of holes with the windows partially opened can be made so you can have ventilation without worrying about intrusion.
Lighting: This is one of the most cost-effective methods for preventing burglaries. It gives the impression that someone is home, and eliminates dark shadows that are good for hiding. Timers on lights are an excellent way of "manning" your lighting. Motion-sensing lights are also an effective method of lighting.
Landscaping: Keeping landscaping trimmed will prevent hiding places for criminals. Dense trees / bushes should be well lit.
A security inspection may point out a few simple things that a homeowner has overlooked. This is a free service offered by the Lisle Police Department and only takes about an hour to complete. Please call 630-271-4200 for more information.
For additional home safety ideas, please access the Neighborhood Watch resource.