Home Security ChecklistFollowing from our previous post we are listing a number of steps you can take to try to make sure that your home is secure while you are away and also how to make your home less attractive to burglars looking for a vacant home to break into. This is a Home Security Checklist must read for anyone who is going away for any length of time.

Home Safety and Home Security Checklist

General Areas that You Should Pay Attention to for Home Security

  • Arrange for a  member of a law enforcement agency do a professional survey?
  • Can anyone hide behind trees and shrubs near windows that are not pruned and well maintained ?
  • Can anyone climb trees, down pipes, or lattice-work to obtain easy access to upper floors?
  • Check to see if you have windows or  skylights that can be removed from the outside or easily broken?
  • Remove ladders and tools that are kept outside to assist any potential intruder?
  • Is there a  hidden house key outside the house where it’s sure to be found?
  • Are all exterior doors  well lighted with particular attention to exterior entrances?
  • Are there shrubs blocking the main entrance and can it be seen from the street?
  • Exterior doors should be at least 1-3/4 inch thick and made from solid wood or reinforced with metal?
  • Exterior doors should  have heavy duty dead bolts and reinforced door jams?
  • Could anyone gain easy access through a mail slot, dryer vent, or pet entrance, side door or through the garage?
  • If doors have glass panels can someone break through and defeat the locking mechanism?
  • Can sliding glass doors be easily lifted out from their frames?
  • Exterior lights and security devices are in good working order and protected from breakage?
  • All doors including from the attached garage leading to the house have a dead bolt?
  • Does your overhead garage door have a working electronic door opener?
  • Does your overhead garage door have any loose, broken or missing door panels or hardware?
  • Always  keep the overhead doors closed, and
  • Always keep your car locked inside the garage?
  • Windows should have reinforced locking devices that can be secured in the open position?
  • All screens and storm windows should have reinforced locks?
  • Ground level windows should have guards or grates?
  • Basement windows that are glass should be  protected by grates or security devices?
  • All valuable  items should be kept in a high quality fire resistant safe or in off-site safety deposit box?
  • Prepare a complete and current video tape or pictures of your home and all your valuables off-site?
  • All firearms should be kept secured and apart from ammunition?

Fire Safety and Fire Prevention

  • Heating system is in proper working order and is inspected by a professional,  for dangerous leaks yearly?
  • Is there sufficient air circulation around appliances that are might overheat?
  • Avoid overloaded circuits, long extension cords runs, and too many devices plugged unto one outlet?
  • Fireplaces and  chimney are free of dangerous build ups that could catch on fire and are cleaned regularly?
  • There is  a protective grate in front of fireplace to prevent sparks, hot logs from rolling into room?
  • Kitchen oven hood is kept clear of greasy build-up that could cause a fire?
  • Smoke detectors are installed on each level and tested weekly?
  • Smoke detector batteries are replaced every 12 months or less?
  • There are working fire extinguisher in kitchen, basement, garage, auto?
  • All family members sleep with bedroom door closed to prevent spread of fire, smoke?
  • All family members practice fire drill, known escape routes, designated meeting pace to go outside?
  • Children know how to use the  phone to get help in an emergency?

Checklists While You are Away

  • Check with your insurance company concerning frequency of visits to your home by someone who is looking after your home
  • Security system is armed?
  • Automatic timers for lights, radio are turned on?
  • Phones are  turned down?
  • Arrangements  for neighbors, a family member or a professional home sitter have been made to watch house, cut, water grass, give house that lived-in look?
  • Avoid any change in normal pattern of opening, shutting drapes, dead give-away lighting patterns?
  • Make arrangements to stop the mail, and newspaper delivery or have someone pick it up daily
  • All regular  yard work is performed ?
  • Arrange to have local police give “special attention” for area beat car if offered in your area?

If you do not see something that you think should be on this list, please let us know by leaving a comment. For more checklists associated with vacant homes, click here.




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