- All exterior doors should be checked for adequate security.
- When moving into a new apartment, have all locks rekeyed.
- Deadbolt locks should be installed on all exterior doors.
- Properly secure all sliding glass doors and windows. This should be done even though you may not be on the first floor.
- Get your neighbors together and demand that adequate security lighting be installed on the grounds, stairwells, laundry rooms and the parking lot.
- Insist that shrubbery be cut back away from the building and entrances so that they do not offer concealment to a burglar.
- DO NOT advertise that you are a woman living alone. Use your first initial only on the mailbox and for telephone listings.
- If you are planning to be away for an extended period of time, inform the office of your plans and where you can be reached. Be sure to stop all deliveries.
- Lock your doors and windows even when you are at the pool, game room or at a neighbor's for a few minutes.
- Make certain that your apartment number is not printed on your assigned parking space.
A single cylinder deadbolt should be mounted on a solid wood core door when there is no breakable glass within 40 inches of the locking device.
A double cylinder deadbolt lock, which is key operated from both the interior and exterior, should be used when there is glass within 40 inches of the locking device CAUTION: the use of a double-cylinder deadbolt lock can be a fire hazard. While occupied a key should be left in the lock and ALL children should be trained in the use of the lock and all other fire prevention methods.
Both of these locking devices should meet the following BASIC criteria:
Securing Your Windows
- The bolt must extend a minimum of 1" and be case hardened or contain a hardened insert.
- The cylinder guard must be tapered or spherical in design to make it difficult to grip with pliers. It must be of solid metal and it is preferred that the guard turn freely.
- The connecting screws that hold the lock together must both be on the inside. There must be no screwheads on the exterior of the door.
- The connecting screws must be at least ¼" in diameter and screw into solid metal stock - not screw posts.
Double hung windows can be secured by drilling a hole at a slight downward angle through the first sash but not the second sash. The window can then be pinned to prevent opening. However, there are several commercial key type locks which can be installed and these locks provide a greater degree of security. Also, a simple wooden dowel can be used to prevent the opening of the bottom window.
Remember to master key all keyed locks and to train children in the use of locks.
Awning types of windows are difficult to secure. The removal of the inside operator handle adds some security. However, keep the handle handy in the event of an emergency. These types of windows should be tightly closed to enhance security. Also, the newer awning windows have a locking lug that is activated if the window crank is turned ¾ of a turn after the window is closed.
Remember windows left open while you are away or at night are open invitations to a burglar. Do not help the thief steal your property.
Sliding glass windows can be secured in the same manner as a sliding glass doors. Pins through the frame, screws in the track or keyed locks can all be used. The recommendations made for securing sliding glass doors on the handout titled sliding glass doors also apply to sliding glass windows.
Casement windows provide good security. Keyed locks are also available for this type of window.
Jalousie windows are a very high security risk and should be replaced if at all possible. They can be secured by installing metal grating on the inside of the window area with a quick release feature in the event of fire. At a comparable cost to installing grating, the windows can be replaced with another, which offers better security.
Guidelines for Purchasing an Alarm
- Is the company a local business?
- Is the company a member of any local business organizations?
- Check with your local Consumer Affairs Office to see if there have been any problems with the company.
- What are the qualifications of the company's installation staff?
- Does the company offer 24-hr service in the case of a false alarm?
- Does your insurance company offer reduced rates for the type of alarm system the company is offering?
- Is there a warranty or service contract offered with the system?
- Does the system include a battery backup in the event of power failure?
- Will the system automatically shut off after 15 minutes?
- Once activated, will it automatically reset if attacked again?
- If it will be a hardwire system, will the wires be installed in such a fashion as to be protected from attack?
- Will the audible sounding device be loud enough to be heard by your neighbors?
- Will the system have a delay feature for entering and leaving?
- Is the system Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (U.L.) approved?