Protecting Your Home – A Burglary Prevention Checklist

Burglary Prevention Checklist for Homes

This checklist is designed to help you make a security check of your own home. The purpose of a home security inspection is to identify features in your home or daily routines of your family which might make your home an easy target for a burglar. The security inspection should begin at your front door; include an inspection of all your doors and windows, locks, lights and landscaping.


  • Are all outside doors in the house of metal or solid wood construction?
  • Are all door frames strong enough and tight enough to prevent forcing or spreading?
  • Are door hinges protected from removal from outside?
  • Are there windows in any door or within 40 inches of the locks?
  • Are all door locks adequate and in good repair?
  • Are strikes and strike plates adequate and property installed?
  • Can the locking mechanism be reached through a mail slot, delivery port or a pet entrance at doorway?
  • Is there a screen or storm door with an adequate lock:
  • Are all entrances lighted with at least a 40 watt light?
  • Can front entrance be observed from street or public areas?
  • Does porch or landscaping offer concealment from view from street or public areas?
  • If there is a sliding glass door, is the sliding panel secured from being lifted out of the track?
  • Is "charley-bar" or key operated auxiliary lock used on sliding glass door?

Entrances from Garage & Basement

  • Are all entrances to living quarters from basement of metal or solid wood?
  • Does door from garage to living quarters have locks adequate for exterior entrance?


  • Do all windows have adequate locks in operating condition?
  • Do windows have screens or storm windows that lock from inside?
  • Do any windows open onto areas that may be hazardous or offer special risk to burglary?
  • Do windows that open to hazardous areas have security screens or grills?
  • Are exterior areas to windows free from concealing structure or landscaping?
  • Is exterior adequately lighted at all window areas?
  • Are trees and shrubbery kept trimmed back from upper floor windows?
  • Are ladders kept outside the house where they are accessible?

Basement Doors & Windows

  • Is there a door from outside to the basement?
  • If so, is that door adequately secure for an exterior door?
  • Is outside basement entrance lighted by exterior light of at least 40 watts?
  • Is outside basement door concealed from street or neighbors?
  • Are all basement windows adequately secured against entry?

Garage Doors & Windows

  • Is automobile entrance door to garage equipped with adequate locking device?
  • Is garage door kept closed and locked at all times?
  • Are garage windows secured adequately for ground floor windows?
  • Is outside utility entrance to garage as secure as required for any ground floor entrance?
  • Are tools and ladders kept in garage?
  • Are all garage doors lighted on the outside by at least a 40 watt light?

How to Keep Burglars Out - Points to Remember

  1. Garages - Should be as secure as any other area of the house because:
    • They often contain ladders and tools which could be helpful to a burglar
    • Attached garages provide visual cover for a burglary
  2. House Number - Should be clearly displayed front and back.
  3. Lights - Exterior flood lights (front and back) and over garage are recommended. Interior-timed lighting devices should be utilized when not at home.
  4. Basement Windows - Often overlooked by homeowners, basement windows should be secured to prevent forcing. Window locks should not be vulnerable if the glass is broken. Screening materials can be used effectively on these window wells or on window framing.
  5. Doors - Solid core wood doors with rugged frames that cannot spread apart with a pry bar are recommended.
  6. Door Locks - Quality dead bolt locks having a minimum 1-inch throw are recommended. These should be mounted so one cannot open the door after breaking a window. Mounting the lock low on the door can some- times eliminate this problem. In other cases, a double cylinder lock will solve the problem.
  7. Shrubs - Should be kept low enough so as not to block possible points of entry or to conceal a potential attacker.
  8. Windows - Glass is most vulnerable to attack. Fortunately, many burglars are reluctant to break windows because of noise and because windows are often visible from the street or from neighboring dwellings. Windows hidden from view must be most securely protected!