How to protect your home from the inside

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Chief Lee Russo with West Valley Police Department shared a few ways to ensure your home is safe while you are away. The overarching tip is to make your home look like there is someone there at all times. Setting up timed lights in your house is a great way to do this. Chief Russo also recommended that people wait to post photos from their vacation until they are home.

A few other things he recommends:

  • Turn the volume of your phone's ringer down so someone outside can't hear them ring.
  • If you can, have your calls forwarded while you're away. Burglars sometimes call to see if anyone's home before a break-in.
  •  Arrange to have your lawn cut or snow removed from your walks if you're going to be gone for a long period.
  • Instead of stopping your mail and newspaper delivery, ask a neighbor to pick them up and hold them for you. Seeing deliveries being made makes a burglar think someone is at home.
  • Ask a neighbor to use your trash can from time to time and to put it out at the curb and bring it back on trash day.
  • Always park your car in the garage with the garage door closed when you are there. That way someone watching for patterns won't know your car isn't there when you're gone.
  • In the interest of home security, never leave notes on the door. They just say to a burglar, "Come on in."
  • Never leave doors or windows unlocked, and never hide a key to your house outside where it can be easily found.
  • Use solid core or metal doors that are secured with good quality deadbolt locks.
  • Consider using locks that have an internal anti-saw pin that makes it difficult for a thief to saw through the bolt with a hacksaw.
  • A metal strike plate is attached to the door jamb to hold the bolt or latch in place. The most common way for a thief to force a door open is to kick it open by kicking at the plate. You can make this harder by using a heavy four-screw high-security strike plate.
  • Using at least one long screw in attaching each door hinge will further secure the door against forced entry.
  • Treat a door between an attached garage and the house as an outside door and use the same type of locks that you use on the front and back door.
  • Any window or glass panel in the door that is closer than 42 inches to the lock should be reinforced with an invisible security film so a burglar can't break the glass and reach through to unlock the door.
  • Windows should be attached to a home security alarm and have locks that operate from the inside so they can be used for escape.
  • Windows can also be made stronger and safer by coating them with an impact-resistant film.
  • Use a PVC pipe to reinforce windows so that they cannot be forced open.
  • Use a piece of metal/wood/or PVC pipe in the track on sliding glass patio doors to prevent them from sliding open.
  • Never leave a ladder that can be used to access the roof or a second story window outside or in an unlocked shed.
  • Cut back tree limbs that hang over the roof, and remove any lower branches from trees next to the home.