Post a home security checklist to optimize safety

Date Modified: Wed, 05/25/2016 - 10:31am

Crimes of opportunity take only seconds to commit. Take the time each day to verify everything has been done to prevent these opportunities. Anthem Neighborhood Watch and Maricopa County Sheriff's Office recommend the following routine checks of your home and yards:

Lock the doors.

  • Keep doors locked even when you are home and always do a "door check" before leaving the home - every time.
  • The side entry garage door should be locked unless in use.  
  • Don't hide a key outside the home.
  • Change the locks on your home periodically. Know exactly who has keys to your home; limit this number. If you are unsure who has a key, change the locks. Even those trusted with keys can misplace them or lose them and most likely, your name or address is on the key.
  • New owners: change the locks. You have no idea how many may have a key to your home.
  • Doggie door large enough for a teen or small adult to crawl through? Close it when you go to bed at night or go out at night. Medium to small dogs/cats should not be outdoors at night unattended; they become an opportunity to an animal predator.
  • Ensure you have deadbolt locks on all your doors/security doors.

Lock the windows.

  • When your windows are closed, be sure they are locked and a security bar is placed the window track that prevents windows from being pried open.
  • Verify the window in your third-car garage is locked and a security bar is placed in the track.
  • Don't leave any window open when you leave the home. 
  • Check the kid's rooms or guest rooms to ensure these were not left unlocked.

Close and lock the garage door.

  • Close your garage door when it is not in use. Even when carrying in groceries, close the door. If you are not in the garage, close the door. Crimes of opportunity take only seconds; a bike could be gone by the time you carry in grocery bags and return for more.
  • Take an extra second every time you pull out of the garage to ensure the door is completely closed before pulling away.
  • Always lock the side entry door of your garage.    
  • Lock the garage door when you retire at night by pressing on the lock button on the control pad inside the garage (often under the open button).

Lock the gate to the side yard. 

  • Always lock the gate with a padlock when not in use.
  • Be sure gate is shut and locked after taking trash/recycling to the curb.

Lock the cars in the driveway.

  • Remove all valuables.
  • Raise and lock the windows.
  • Raise the convertible top.
  • Lock the car and verify the car is locked before walking away.

Secure golf carts.

  • Valuables should be removed from golf cart if it is parked temporarily in a driveway (party, errand, etc.)
  • Remove the key from the cart.
  • Secure the cart inside the garage for overnight parking or when not in use.

Ensure lighting is operating correctly.

  • All landscape lights and motion detector lights should be operating. Select a night each week to verify all of your landscape lights are operational. 
  • Replace burned out bulbs above the garage and home entry immediately. If you know your neighbor is out of town, be a good neighbor and replace the bulb for them.
  • Leave lights on inside the home when you leave the house briefly and on timers when you leave for vacation.

Activate your alarm.

  • Anytime. All the time. Home or away!

Verify security if you leave for vacation.

  • Don't announce your plans to travel in public or tell all your friends of dates when you will be away (this includes social media). Trust this with the one person who will watch your home and check on it when you are away. 
  • Never post photos of a trip while away from the home. Wait until you return to share your trip photos.
  • Make arrangements for North Valley Posse Vacation Watch to check the perimeter of home while you are away by calling 602-456-2767.
  • Don't rush out the door without performing a full security check of the home, doors, garage, windows and lighting.
  • Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway periodically to make it appear as if someone is home.
  • Stop all mail and newspaper deliveries. Ask a neighbor to check your front porch for any deliveries.
  • Ensure your contact numbers are updated on the Gate Access website. This will be important if the gate personnel need to reach you (water running from garage, fire, etc.).

Get to know the neighbors.

  • Be alert to what is going in the neighborhood and around neighbors’ homes.
  • Let neighbors know if their garage doors are open.
  • Call neighbors if there is suspicious activity happening around or near their home. If there is something suspicious occurring, tell your neighbor to call 911, or volunteer to call for them.
  • Watch friends’ homes when they’re away. Trade keys and contact numbers. Volunteer to pick up mail or newspapers.
  • If neighbors’ newspapers are accumulating, or there are signs that neighbors are away and may have forgotten to stop delivery, try to contact them or move the deliveries to an inconspicuous place.
  • Always have emergency numbers on hand and stored in cell phones.
  • Join the Anthem Neighborhood Watch and volunteer to serve as a Block Captain.