How to Conduct Your Own Home Security Audit

Perform This Audit at Daylight and Then Again at Dark

KEY POINT! With enough time, burglars can open any door or window. The best way to improve security is to deprive them of the time to work undetected.
  1. Do trees and shrubbery obscure your doors and windows? Shrubbery provides excellent cover behind which a burglar could work on breaking into your residence without being observed or detected.
  2. Do shrubbery or other structures provide a place where an intruder could hide?
    Most burglaries occur when no one is home. However, some intruders hide waiting for you to enter or leave your residence.
  3. Does your residence's appearance give the impression no one is home?
    Untidy yards, unmowed grass, newspapers on the porch, mail in the mail box or advertisements hanging from the door are all signs saying "No one's home".
  4. Are storage sheds or buildings unlocked? Is your garage door unlocked or open?
    These types of structures often contain easily removed small, valuable items. Also, they are excellent places for a burglar to obtain tools and ladders to break into your residence.
  5. Do you have a privacy fence?
    A fence which blocks other's view of your property increases your security risks. A burglar can work on breaking-in without being observed by neighbors or passers-by.
  6. Are there basement windows or exterior basement doors which are unlocked or easily opened?
    Basement windows are easy targets - they are often hidden by shrubs and have poor locks.
  7. Are there ground floor windows or doors which are open, unlocked, have broken glass or are otherwise inviting to an intruder?
    Windows on the ground floor offer easy points of entry. Windows which are open just a crack or have visible unlocked locking devices are again open invitations. An unlocked or easily opened door is another target. Exterior doors without deadbolt locks can usually be opened by an amateur.
  8. Are there second floor windows or doors which are open or obviously unlocked?
    If your normal entry into your home is not through the second story, these areas may be ignored or presumed safe. However, this is exactly why the second level is so appealing to intruders.
  9. Are there entrances to your home which are unlighted at night?
    Check this at night, look at the - a) lighting you have available,b) lighting which is normally on when you come home after dark, and the c) lighting which is normally used when you are home in the evening. Lighting is one of the key things which can be used to discourage those that would be up to no good after dark.
  10. Are there other areas around your home which are unlighted and could provide concealment for an intruder?
    Dark areas beside or behind a residence provide hiding places where an intruder can work on obtaining entry to your home. Remember, given enough time professional burglars can open almost any door or window. So, one of the goals of improved security is to deprive them of the time to work undetected.

IF YOU ANSWERED "YES" to any of the questions, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM which needs correcting!