Keeping your home safe

Whether you're home or away on vacation, a few simple precautions can make your home less attractive to burglars.

  • Be sure your outdoor lighting illuminates all entrances to your home.
  • Cut back shrubbery to discourage burglars from hiding near window and doors.
  • Keep windows and doors locked at all times. Make certain your garage door is closed and locked.
  • Install a peephole in your front door.
  • Windows and sliding glass doors should be secured with auxiliary locks. Special door pins, available at home improvement stores, can prevent your sliding doors from being lifted from their tracks during a burglary attempt.
  • Deadbolt locks should be used on all exterior doors (single or double cylinder with a minimum one inch throw is recommended).
  • Never hide or store keys or tools outside.

For a home security inspection, contact the Broward Sheriff's Office at (954) 831-8900. If you reside outside a BSO jurisdiction, contact your local police department.

When you're away from home for extended periods, be sure to take the following precautions:

  • Let trusted friends and neighbors know that you'll be away.
  • Make your home appear occupied. Attach timers to lights and television sets and set them to turn on and off at different times.
  • Have your newspaper and mail held, or picked up by a friend or neighbor.
  • Disconnect automatic garage door openers.
  • Open some of the drapes or blinds on your windows. During daytime hours, it gives the appearance that someone is home, and during the evening, lights inside the house are more visible.

BSO offers residents in its jurisdictions a free Vacation Home Watch program. Deputies will drive by unoccupied residences and perform a daily perimeter check for signs of break-in or suspicious activity.

To participate, call or stop by your district office and request a vacation home watch form. You must provide the dates and times your home will be unoccupied with a contact phone number of a trusted neighbor or local relative. If you live outside a BSO jurisdiction, notify your local police department that you are leaving town and provide them with the dates you will be away and an emergency phone number.

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