Landscape design is also important. Shrubs, statuary, hedges, and trees can be effective hiding places for burglars. They can also obstruct your house from the view of patrolling police or neighbors. Is your house an easy mark? Try this simple exercise. Stand across the street from your home. Can you clearly see your windows and doors? If not, trim back trees or shrubs or move them to another part of your property. By their very nature, privacy fences can also pose problems. They not only block your neighbor's view of the house, they also block their view of burglars! House numbers should be clearly visible so that police can respond quickly to a call for help. They should be large (at least six inches high), illuminated at night, and, if possible, visible from both front and back of the property. Lighting your property is equally important. Pay special attention to lighting door areas; be sure you have a porch light. Motion detector lights are an effective security device, and they also help light the way to the door, should you have forgotten to leave the lights on for yourself when you went out.
Be Mindful of Entry Points
A high percentage of break-ins are actually walk-ins. The message from police: don't make it easy for the burglar by leaving doors and windows unlocked. Whether you're home, or just going out to the store for a minute, always lock your doors and windows. If it's too hot in the summertime to be locked inside your own home, be sure you've locked your screen door and window screens. "At first, it may seem like you're being paranoid," says Heinrichs, "but when you make a practice of locking the doors and windows when you're home, it soon becomes a habit."