Southern Evergreen’s Tom Garcia’s Checklist For Home Safety

Written by

Tracey McCain



Greensboro, NC – While you can’t totally prevent crime in your neighborhood or even against your home, you can take steps to reduce the likelihood of it happening. With just a few quick fixes you can reduce the chances of your home being burglarized.

Begin your security inspection at the front door and continue around the house checking side and rear doors, windows, locks, lights and landscaping. Again, most security modifications that you might consider making are simple and quite cost effective.
The below are some proven techniques to make your home more secure and less of a target to burglars.


1. Is house address clearly posted and lit to aid
Emergency Response?
2. Is door itself of metal or solid wood construction? (including doors between garage/basement house)
3. Is doorframe strong enough and tight enough to
prevent forcing or spreading?
4. Are door hinges protected from removal from outside?
5. Are there windows/glass panels in the door within
40 inches of the lock?
6. If there are no windows in or near door, is there a
wide-angle viewer or voice intercom device?
7. Is door secured by a dead-bolt lock with a minimum
1-inch throw? (including door from garage/basement to home)
8. Are strikes and strike plates adequate and properly
installed with 2 ½ -3 inch screws? (recommend 2 long screws in each hinge also)
9. Can the lock mechanism be reached through a
mail slot, delivery port or pet entrance at the doorway?
10. Is there a screen or storm door with an adequate lock?
11. Is the exterior of the front/rear entrance lighted
with at least a 40-watt bulb? (consider motion detection lights)
12. Can front/rear entrance be easily observed from
street or other homes or a public area?
13. Does porch or landscaping offer concealment from
view of the street, other homes or public areas?

14. Do all windows have adequate locks in operating
condition? Do windows/sliding doors close snugly? (particularly ground floor windows)
15. Can the sliding panel be lifted out of the track? (consider drilling pinning/ screws in the top track)
16. Is there a dowel or “charlie bar” in the bottom of track
to prevent horizontal movement?
17. Are exterior areas of windows free from a concealing
structure or landscaping?
*Security Tip: Tools, ladders and other equipment should always be secured in the gar-age an not left laying around on premises.
* Security Tip: Cover with blinds or curtains.

Double-check to ensure garage door is closed when not in use. If there are ground-level windows in your garage they should be covered with curtain or blind to prevent someone from looking in. Windows in an exterior door or glass within 40″ of a dead-bolt lock are good candidates for Security Film. Unplug garage door opener when away from home for vacation or extended period of time.

Smoke Detector:
Check each one in the home. Test to ensure they are functioning. If the device uses batteries, check to see if they need replacing.  Recommend testing when setting clocks for Daylights Savings. 
Fire Extinguisher:
You should have one in the garage and a small on in or near the kitchen. Consider putting one under your bed. Check the gages to see if they are well charged.

More Safety Info:

  1. Summer 2012: Home Safety Tips
  2. Police Safety Tips: Home Security 101
  3. Home safety checklist: Safety supplies to have around the house
  4. Mobile-home checklist issued for storm safety – Louisville Courier
  5. Summer Home Safety


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