Home Security Assessment. Harden the Target Lessen the Risk

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1 Home Security Assessment Harden the Target Lessen the Risk

2 Sheriff Mark Hargrove A Message from Lea County Sheriff Mark Hargrove Home-related crimes are often crimes of opportunity, so a home security assessment is essential to identifying weaknesses that help criminals steal your hard-earned property. A door that is easy to open, a dark house, an open window or garage door, or unlit approaches to your property are all invitations to criminals. Use this assessment form to see how vulnerable your property may be and help reduce the risk. Harden the Target - Lessen the Risk! Think like a criminal to see what they see; in other words, look at your property from the standpoint of a criminal. What might attract him to your home or property? Is there good visibility in and out that would help neighbors or deputies see someone on your property? Are the doors and windows difficult to defeat? If you have a long driveway, is it lit, gated or otherwise secured? Is there an alarm system for your home or outbuildings? Are your valuables inventoried? What could you do to show criminals your property carries more risk than gain? We can t guarantee the security measures you implement or the information you develop from this assessment will make you and your property immune to theft or other crimes, but it can help you to be more aware and engage in protecting yourself, your loved ones and your property. Survey Instructions: As you complete this survey, go through it in order if you can. You want to start with identifying what s nearest and dearest to you, this will help motivate you as you layer your security measures. Each entry has an OK, an NI and N/A Columns. Circle OK if you believe your security measure is adequate, NI if it needs to be improved, and N/A if the entry doesn t apply to your property. The final column in each entry is for notes; use it to write a suggestion down for what you could do to make the entry item more secure. Once you have completed your plan to improve that entry, circle the OK in that entry. The assessment begins on the next page.

3 Inside Your Home or Other Property Valuables Security system Security Safe Property Inventory Key Control Burglary alarms don t stop criminals, but they make them consider whether the risk is worth it, they also make criminals hurry up once an audible alarm sounds. This could help protect some of your belongings, and make the criminal careless; he may leave some evidence behind deputies can collect and analyze. Consider a surveillance system that saves to a server off-site. If you can afford a home safe, install it in the foundation of your home or some other area that will force a criminal to take a lot of time to move it. If its portable, they may just pick it up and take it with them. Record the make, model and serial numbers, or apply a permanent owner-created number on your valuables. Take pictures of these items and keep both digital copies and paper copies of them. Consider registering your property through an independent server like the one sponsored by the Insurance Information Institute at Windows Do the locks work well? Is there a secondary lock? Is the glass intact? Any additional security features? Basic window security can be enhanced by using secondary locks or barriers: pin wooden windows with a drill and a ten penny nail; install track locks on aluminum frames, use a wooden dowel, cut to fit in the track for sliding windows or doors. Double pane, security or laminated windows also enhance your windows ability to resist tampering. Doors Exterior doors are solid, metalcased or fiberglass. Deadbolts on all external doors. Door hinges on the inside. French and sliding doors secured with a secondary lock or barrier? Deadbolts should have a tapered or free spinning collar and a minimal bolt extension of 1 inch. Protect glass in the door with laminates or bars. Strike plates on doors should be reinforced with 2.5 to 4 inch hardened steel screws. Consider a t-bar extension or charley bar to secure French doors.

4 Outside Your Home or Property Exterior High Value Items Security System on Outbuildings Outdoor equipment Inventoried Key Control Intruder and surveillance alarms can be useful in deterring criminals off your property. Again, consider a surveillance system that saves to a server off-site. Record the make, model and serial numbers or VIN s of vehicles and motorized equipment or apply a permanent ownercreated number on your valuables. Take pictures of these items and keep both digital copies and paper copies of them. Padlocks on tool boxes and unattached buildings can go a long way towards helping to secure your property. Don t leave valuable property out where it can be seen (and taken!) easily. Exterior Windows and Doors Are windows and doors well-lit at night? Secondary lock/barrier on garage doors. Shrubs and greenery pruned back? Window and door lighting should clearly illuminate the door or window and outward from the structure. Avoid leaving your garage door open whenever possible, it provides a hidden point of access. Bushes under windows should be pruned well below the window sills. Tall bushes and trees should be trimmed up from the ground to expose feet and legs. Perimeter Are your house numbers visible from the road? Shrubs and trees pruned back and away from walkways, driveways, porches, doors windows and gates. Tree limbs pruned above six feet on perimeters to allow views of the house. Exterior lighting covers the front rear and sides of house and outbuildings.

5 First responders will be looking for your address, make sure it is clearly visible from the public right of way. Brushes and shrubs can also be used as barriers; choose something prickly or dense under windows to discourage entry. Consider iron or steel frames on windows or doors that are outside of public view. Criminals look for patterns that say when you are home. Vary lighting, where you park your vehicles and watch for vehicles that are not normal in your area. For more information, contact: Lea County Sheriff s Office Criminal Investigations Detachment (575) or Call the Sheriff s Office at (575) to schedule a security assessment. Harden the Target Lessen the Risk!

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