A ladder outside of the home, bushes that haven’t been trimmed, trees that hang too close to second floor windows, and spare keys that are hidden in obvious places — these are all examples of vulnerable areas that homeowners often neglect.

These are weaknesses that burglars look for whenever they go through neighborhoods and search for homes to target. These burglars have an attention to detail that may be forgotten in our day-to-day lives.

Do you know where the vulnerable areas are?  What security measures is your home missing? Where can you improve your safety measures? What items have been left outside of the home that a burglar will target?

These are the questions that need to be asked when you begin to protect your home or update safety measures.

The Checklist

Basics to cover:

  • Do you have home security?
  • Is your home security monitored?
  • Can your valuables be viewed from the street?
  • Is the exterior of your home well lit at night?
  • Do you advertise that you have a home security system?
  • Do you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors?
  • Is the garage door always locked when leaving the home and never left open?
  • Are all windows, doors, garage and any vulnerable place or point of entry secured whenever you leave the house?
  • Do you have timed lights, motion sensor lights, or others to give the home the appearance of being lived-in when no one is present?
  • Do you lock doors every time you leave the home, no matter how long you are gone for?

The Personal:

  • Have you created a personal item inventory?
  • Did you place serial numbers on your valuable items?
  • Do you have security contact information listed around the home?
  • Do you have descriptions or photos of items that can’t be marked with serial numbers?
  • Do you have an emergency kit in case you need to leave the home abruptly?
  • Have you considered all variables in evacuation plans, like older adults, pets, young children, et cetera?
  • Have you cleaned the outside of the home to make sure burglars don’t have anywhere to hide?
  • Do you have a working relationship with neighbors so they can be the eyes and ears for your home if you are ever away?
  • Do you have a system that ensures you don’t receive mail, packages, or other items whenever you are on vacation? This system could include neighbors.
  • Do you know who rings the doorbell without opening it?

Things to Double-Check:

  • Do you have an emergency escape plan?
  • Is your house number visible from the street?
  • Do you have an escape plan for fires or emergencies?
  • Do you have any hidden keys around the home or know every person that has a spare key to the home?
  • Have you properly disposed of these hidden keys so they can’t be found by burglars?
  • Are any trees on your property high enough to climb that would allow burglars to access second story windows?
  • Do you have valuables like lawn equipment or kids toys on the front lawn? Have these been cleared away?
  • Are all house and lawn tools kept in garage or a shed that is adequately locked and secured?

Other Important Details

  • Have you installed motion sensor lights?
  • Do you have an emergency escape plan?
  • Are all of the windows in the home locked and accounted for?
  • Is there a neighborhood watch program in your neighborhood?
  • Are you bicycles securely locked or stored inside of the home?
  • Do kids know how to call for emergency assistance if necessary?
  • Do your kids know how to arm or disarm home security if necessary?
  • Is there a window on your garage or basement? Has it been secured?
  • Do you have copies of your home inventory that are stored digitally and in the cloud?
  • Can all of your doors be securely locked? Are all of the locks in good shape? Is the sliding door well secured?

How to Use this Checklist

A home security checklist is your way of staying up to date on the happenings of your home. Have you had recent renovation? Haven’t done a check-up in months? Have you moved to a new home?

In all of these scenarios, a security checklist will be your anchor to realize vulnerabilities in the home and keep their maintenance up to date. Use this anytime the home is updated or you move.

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