The Next Step
Now that you have identified the weak points in your home
security, you can take the next step and learn about
securing your home.
Protecting Against Entry
Many of the locks and other items described in this section
are inexpensive and can be installed yourself. Some,
however, may require a professional to install them. HBNW
Aviation Lock & Key. The owner is a resident of HB.
True security begins with key control. When you move into a
home or apartment or lose your keys, always have the locks
re-keyed. You don't have to replace the lock itself, as
re-keying of locks will render the previous keys useless.
Any licensed locksmith can change the tumblers in your
outside door locks quickly and inexpensively.
Do not leave an "emergency" key under the door mat, on top
of the door frame or in any other "hiding spot" so
well-known to burglars.
Never attach a name, address, or license tag to your house
keys or your children's. If keys are lost or stolen, you
will have an unwelcome visitor very quickly!
Keep car keys and house keys separate. Never leave your
house keys with an attendant when you go to the car wash or
Exterior lighting is extremely important in residential
security. Each exterior doorway should be lighted from dusk
to dawn so a burglar can't hide to break in.
Yards and windows should be lighted. Night blind spots can
be eliminated by use of ornamental porch and yard lamp
posts. Yard lights and entrance lights can be equipped with
sensors that turn the light on at dusk and off at dawn or
when it detects motion. The motion detectors seem to work
better because when the light turns on there is a change in
environment. Motion detector lights can also be equipped
with bell or other warning sounds. Check the sensors or
motion detectors periodically to make sure they work.
Keep doorways, windows and porches clear when planting
bushes and flowers.
Remember that the bushes that provide you with privacy also
give a burglar a place to hide. Prune large trees. A
burglar can climb the lower limbs to the second story. A
well-maintained lawn is a very effective clue that someone
is at home and cares.
Plan your landscaping with both privacy and security in mind
- planting thorny bushes and shrubs near windows and along
fences may discourage burglars.
Locked gates and well-maintained fences can make break-ins
more difficult and prevent the removal of large items.
Walks and driveways should be easily seen so no landscaping
offers concealment for intruders.
The hinge door is the most common type used in houses and
apartments. They are used for front, porch, garage and
basement doors leading into the home. All exterior hinge
doors should be of solid core construction, 1-3/4 inch
thick. The door frame should be of solid construction and be
equipped with a proper strike plate. Hollow core or
composition board doors can easily be battered or broken
Doors with hinges on the outside will provide a burglar with
easy access to your home. The burglar only has to remove the
hinges and lift the door away from its frame. This situation
can be corrected in three ways:
Remove the door and remount the hinges on the inside of
the frame so that the door swings inward; or
Install a set of hinges with non-removable hinge pins;
Install a locking pin below the existing hinge plate.
Here is how:
(1) Drill holes below the hinge plate.
(2) Insert a "headless" screw, bolt or nail into the door
jamb below the hinge plate. Leave at least one-half inch of
the screw, bolt or nail extending from the frame.
Once this is done, as the door closes, the pin in the jamb
will penetrate the hole in the door and the door will be
held in position even if the hinge pins are removed.
Dead bolt locks.
The best defense for a good solid core wood door is a dead
bolt lock with one-inch throw bolt. The security dead bolt
lock can be used on any hinge door where the strike plate
can be securely fastened to the door frame. When installing
a dead bolt, attach the strike plate (the jamb fastening
that receives the bolt in the locking position) to the door
with four to six, three-inch brass wood screws. The screws
should penetrate through the frame to a structural member.
Dead bolt locks come in double key cylinder and inside
thumb-operated models. If there are no windows in or near
the door, the bolt may be operated from inside by a thumb
turn. Both single and double key cylinder dead bolt locks
should meet the following criteria to be a good security
The bolt must extend a minimum of one-inch and contain a
hardened steel insert.
The dead bolt should contain a cylinder guard to prohibit
twisting of the lock with a wrench or pliers. It must be
solid metal - not hollow casting or stamped metal.
The key way should contain a five-pin tumbler system to make
it more difficult to pick.
The connecting screws that hold the lock together must be on
the inside and made of case-hardened steel. No screw heads
should be exposed on the outside.
The connecting screws must be at least one-fourth inch in
diameter and go into solid metal stock, not screw posts.
These locks on an outside door are an invitation to even the
most inexperienced burglar. These locks can be forced by
breaking off the knob, and frequently they can be opened by
prying or slipping a piece of plastic between the jamb and
the bolt. Do not rely on these locks. Install a
dead-latching plunger type lock to supplement it.
Locks for double doors.
Many homes with double doors use half-barrel slide bolts on
the inactive door. These are weak and inadequate and should
not be relied upon. Additional locking devices should be
installed. Flush bolts installed at the top and bottom of
the inactive door of a pair of doors offer additional
security since the intruder cannot get at these devices to
tamper with them if the doors are locked. It is important
that the bolts have at least one-inch of throw and that they
protrude well into the top frame and threshold.
Additionally, the strike plates should be well secured with
at least three-inch brass wood screws.
Locks for dutch doors.
Dutch doors can be secured by adding a dead bolt lock to
both the lower and upper door.
Security for doors with glass
If an exterior door has a glass window or if there is glass
within 40 inches of the lock, you may want to install
security screening, window guards or burglary rated glazing.
Use non-removable screws to securely mount screens, bars or
Sliding glass doors.
Sliding glass doors present a major security problem if they
do not have the proper locks and if special steps are not
taken to prevent removal of the door. A sliding glass door
is lifted into position when installed and, therefore, must
be lifted from the track to be removed. To prevent this,
insert #8 or #10 sheet metal screws into the top of the door
frame at both ends and the middle. Adjust these screws so
that the door barely clears them when it is operated. If
properly inserted, this will take up the slack between the
upper part of the door and the interior frame.
It is important to note that dowels alone placed in the door
track will not prevent a burglar from removing the sliding
door. The best lock for a sliding glass door is operable by
a key from the inside.
The lock bolt should engage the strike sufficiently so that
it will not be disengaged by any amount of movement. When
the existing inside pull has to be changed in order to
accommodate a new deadlock, an inside cylinder pull is
recommended as a replacement. A single lock is not
recommended because of the softness of aluminum frames. A
supplemental lock should be installed at the top or bottom,
made out of steel and inserted in the sliding door at a
slightly downward angle.
Garage doors should always be closed and locked whenever you
are away from home. Most garages offer burglars a wide
selection of tools to use in breaking into your home.
Garages provide ladders for accessing second story windows
and also a convenient, hidden route for entry into your home
through the connecting door. Remember, a securely locked
garage will prevent burglars from the opportunity to steal
automobiles, tools, bicycles, lawn mowers and other
Sectional roll-up doors
For overhead sectional roll-up doors, drill a hole of proper
size in the door track, just above one of the guide rollers
while the door is in the closed position, and install a
padlock. Many doors are installed with pre-drilled holes
that will accommodate this security feature without having
to drill. Or, install eye bolts on the inside top of the
garage door and the door frame. When the garage door is
closed, a padlock can secure the bolts and prevent opening
of the door.
Electric garage door openers
An electric garage door opener should have steel gears and
chain activation. Periodically check the door to make sure
it is adjusted to prevent the bottom from being lifted up.
This stops the thief from crawling under the door. When you
move into a new home, reset the code in the opener and the
remote control units. Cane bolts can be installed on the
inside of the door. These can only be locked from the
inside. Sliding hasps can also be used on the inside of the
Hardened steel hasps and padlocks are recommended to secure
both sides of a lifting garage door. This is to prevent the
lifting of the opposite side and crawling under the door.
Installing the hasp.
A hasp must be of hardened steel and installed with carriage
bolts through the door. Use large washers on the inside.
When installing hasps, make sure that the mounting screws
are covered when the hasp is locked. After the bolts are
secured, deface the threads of the bolt ends with a hammer
to keep the nuts from being removed.
Selecting a padlock.
Use a good quality padlock to secure your garage door. There
are many padlocks on the market from which to choose. Some
can even be keyed to your house key. Do not be guilty of
economizing on a padlock that will not give you the
protection you need. Most combination padlocks are poor
security because the bodies of these locks are very weak.
The most common assault on a padlock is with a large bolt
cutter or pry bar. Some padlocks have built-in shackle
guards which make them difficult to attack with bolt
cutters. The following description of the minimum standard
for an exterior padlock can be taken to the locksmith or
Case hardened steel, 7/16 inch shackle. (Short, heavier
shackles offer additional security.) Stainless steel
shackles offer the ultimate in padlock security.
Double-locking mechanism - heel and toe.
Five pin tumbler.
A key retaining feature, whenever possible. This prevents
you from removing the key until you have locked the
padlock. Some padlocks have the key code number printed on
them. This should be filed off. Otherwise, a burglar can go
to a locksmith, give the brand/number and buy a duplicate
key. Never leave your padlock unlocked. This is an
invitation to have the padlock removed so that a key can be
made and the lock returned to its original location. Later
the burglar returns when no one is home and enters at his or
her leisure, using that key.
Other garage doors
The weakest link in an attached garage is usually the side
(rear) door. Doors with window panes or thin veneer wood or
no dead bolt locks should be considered a primary entry for
a burglar. Take measures to make this door as secure as the
front door. In most cases, it is easier to either replace
the door or use plywood on the interior to reinforce the
existing wood panel, or to replace the glass with burglary
resistant glazing to prevent entry through the window.
Sliding windows should be secured by the same methods used
for the sliding doors. Both the pan head top screws and the
bracing devices are effective on this type of window, if the
slider is on the inside. Several types of auxiliary locks
which offer improved security are also available.
Casement windows (crank type)
These windows are the easiest to secure. Make sure the
locking latch works properly and the crank which opens and
closes the window has no excessive play. Replace any worn
hardware. Key lock handles are available, if you desire. If
the window is not normally opened or closed, remove the
Double-hung sash-type windows
To secure these windows, drill a hole that angles slightly
downward through a top corner of the bottom window into the
bottom of the top window, on both sides.
Then place an eye bolt or eight penny nail into the hole to
prevent the window from being opened. Auxiliary latches may
also be installed. The most effective protection for double
hung windows is a key-locking security sash lock. If
possible, mount the lock with two-inch wood screws.
It is best to replace louvered windows with another type.
Metal grating may also be used as long as it is secured with
large bolts, preventing the bars or grating from being torn
free from their mount.
For the interim period of waiting for the replacement
windows or installation of window bars, you might want to
secure the windows:
Remove each individual pane of glass and sand the glass
and metal frame where the two meet; and,
Apply a two-part epoxy resin glue to the sanded area and
replace the piece of glass into the framework.
Basement windows are one of the most common points of entry
for burglars.Special attention should be paid to securing
them if they are hidden by bushes or trees which provide
burglars with an ideal place to work unobserved. Such
windows should be replaced with plexiglass or polycarbonate,
or reinforced with decorative security bars.
If you use garage windows for ventilation, install the same
security items as
recommended for the windows in your home. Hang curtains or
prevent a potential burglar from checking to see if you're
home or window shopping
Window guards or grilles
For extremely vulnerable windows, you may wish to consider
installing heavy gauge
metal (iron) grilles. Before installation, consult your fire
about emergency release requirements. Grilles should be
attached with one
way screws or fastened from the inside. Bars and gratings
are not recommended
for sleeping rooms because they could create a fire hazard.
If they are used, however, they must have an inside
mechanism that allows them to swing out in an emergency.
An alarm system can contribute to your home's security.
However, do not depend
only upon an alarm to protect you. Be sure to use the proper
devices and join a Neighborhood Watch program in your area.
There are many types of alarms on the market. Before
deciding what type of
system to install, check with your local law enforcement
agency to determine if
there is an alarm ordinance in your area.
Any alarm system should include:
A fail-safe battery backup.
Fire-sensing capability (ionization sensors are best).
Readout ability to check the working of the system. Test
your alarm periodically if your system has that feature.
Most residential alarms emit a loud noise from a bell, siren
or tone generator. An
audible alarm on doors and windows can be an effective
deterrent to the amateur
burglar. Make sure that your family understands how the
alarm operates and
sounds. Notify your neighbors that you have installed an
alarm and make sure
that they are aware of the alarm's sound and that it is loud
enough to be heard in
their homes. Family and neighbors should be trained to call
your law enforcement
agency when they hear the alarm.
If most of your neighbors are gone during the day, you may
wish to consider having a system with an automatic dialer to
a central reporting station. This type of system is
activated when your alarm goes off. An alarm responder will
call your home to find out if it is a false alarm,
requesting your password or other code. If no one answers,
or if the proper response is not received, they will call
your local law enforcement agency.
Everyone plays a role in creating and maintaining a safe
Report Crime - Don't assume that your neighbors have already
reported the crime or that the police already know. Report
criminal or suspicious activity each and every time it
DIRECT HB Dispatch Number
Reasons for calling the non-emergency number include, but
are not limited to the following:
You want to report a nuisance, such as a noise or
To report a non-emergency crime, one that did not just
occur, and the
suspect(s) are not in the immediate area.
You have questions about something suspicious occurring
neighborhood, and you are not sure it is criminal
Solicitor just came to your door or are in the
and observant wherever you are and learn to recognize signs
of criminal behavior. Report all crime to the HBPD even if
it is only an attempt. Crime cannot be controlled or
prevented if it is not reported. By reporting crimes and
suspicious activities you can protect yourself and others.
If you are in another city in the South Bay, these are their
direct dial phone numbers to their PD/FD dispatch.
El Segundo Dispatch 310-524-2760
Manhattan Beach Dispatch 310-545-4566
Palos Verdes Dispatch 310-378-5211
Redondo Beach Dispatch 310- 379-5411
Torrance Dispatch 310-320-2611
If you are in a city that you do not know or are on the
freeways, call 9-1-1 and your call will be routed to
the appropriate call center.
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