Home Security Tips
Because a garage is used for more than storing your vehicle, securing the garage is an important part of home safety. The theft of property such as tools, golf clubs, bicycles and other items can spike during warmer months when garages are left unsecured. Leaving entries into the garage unsecured can also provide thieves access to your home. Here are some tips to help you secure your garage against theft:
Secure all doors when you are not in or active near the garage.
- Install motion sensor lights at all garage entries.
- Consider installing a security system that will alert you or your provider when motion is detected around your home.
- Ensure deadbolt locks are installed in all doors leading into the garage. Strike plates for deadbolts should be installed using 3 to 4-inch screws for optimal security.
- Choose opaque glass or add coverings to garage windows to obscure the view for anyone trying to look in.
- Finally, don’t leave garage door openers in your vehicle where they could fall into the wrong hands.
Remember to call our 24-hour non-emergency line at 949-770-6011 and select the option for "Sheriff's Dispatch" to report suspicious activity as it is being observed.
During these warmer summer months, residents should continue to be diligent about home security. As part of our #SummerSafety campaign, we will be posting a series of important safety tips in the coming weeks to help keep our community safe. Today, let’s discuss door and window security:
Despite warmer temperatures, never leave doors or windows open or unlocked while away from home, including second-story entries.
- To bolster security, utilize secondary window and door locks when away.
- Never leave keys hidden under door mats or potted plants.
- When at home, secure doors and windows in rooms not occupied. A front door should not be left open unless a locking security screen is in use.
- Strike plates for deadbolts should be installed using 3 to 4-inch screws for optimal security.
- Consider installing security rated film on vulnerable windows and glass doors.
Remember to report suspicious activity as it is being observed by calling our 24-hour non-emergency number at 949-770-6011. You will reach an automated message but will be connected to a live call taker quickly once you select the option for "Sheriff's Dispatch."
Continuing with our #SummerSafety campaign, today we're providing tips on lighting that can help improve home security. Here are some things to consider:
- Front and back porch lights should be on during hours of darkness. Fixtures with photo light sensors are recommended to ensure lights are on when you are home or away. Lower wattage bulbs can be used for backyard lighting.
- Place timers on select indoor lights. This will provide the appearance that someone is home even when you are away. This will also ensure that you never walk into a dark house.
- Install motion sensor lighting to cover driveways and side door entrances to discourage people from loitering in these areas.
- Smart lighting options are available for indoor and outdoor lighting. Smart light bulbs fit in existing fixtures and can be controlled on your smartphone. This option provides convenience and allows you to enhance your home security remotely.
People who approach your front door may have additional motives other than selling magazines or services. The following tips may help you avoid becoming the victim of a crime when strangers come knocking at your door:
- Install a wide-angle door viewer that provides full visibility of the area outside your door. Always check the viewer before opening your door.
- Never open your door for strangers or solicitors. Acknowledge you are home and talk through the door by simply stating, “not interested.” This will discourage door-knockers who may be casing the neighborhood seeking potential targets for burglary.
- Always verify an unscheduled visit from a utility or maintenance worker(s) with the service provider prior to allowing them access to your home or property. Utilize the phone number published on your utility statement, not a number the person has provided. A reputable worker will wait outside while you verify the reason for their visit.
- Be aware of home improvement scams. If you did not solicit the contractor or salesperson who shows up at your door unannounced, do not do business with that person. Prior to hiring any contractor, review tips provided by the Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board (CSLB) at cslb.ca.gov.
Lastly, vary your daily routines by changing times of activities and your usual direction of travel when leaving home. If you see something suspicious, call the 24-hour non-emergency dispatch line at 949-770-6011 and select the option for “Sheriff’s Dispatch.” Dial 9-1-1 for an emergency or crime in progress.
We’d like to wrap up our Summer Safety campaign by providing tips on how you can utilize landscaping to enhance home security. Please consider the following:
- Trees and shrubbery should be trimmed to above seven feet and under three feet respectively to provide a clear line of sight between you and your neighbors’ homes. Larger trees should be analyzed for accessibility to second story windows.
- Plant hostile vegetation such as natal plum, bougainvillea, cactus and roses at perimeter fences and under windows to discourage access.
- Provide clearly defined pathways to your front door to discourage people from entering onto areas where they don’t belong. When pathways are clearly defined, neighbors are more apt to notice activity when people are in areas they don’t belong.
- Always keep side gates locked when not in use to prevent easy access to your yard.
- Do not store ladders in side or back yards and ensure trash bins and outdoor furniture do not provide access to second story windows or balconies.
- House numbers (address) should be a minimum of four inches in height, illuminated at night and not obscured by landscape. A curbside address should never be the primary means for locating your home. A vehicle blocking the curbside address could slow down an emergency response.
Keep in mind that a well-maintained yard gives the impression that someone is active in and around their home. We hope our Summer Safety series has provided you with helpful tips to keep you and your home safe.