Home Security

Committed to Integrity since 1995

During the holiday season, homes are a target for burglaries because of valuable gifts being stored and homeowners often being preoccupied with the hustle and bustle of the season. Often, homeowners can be careless in locking vehicles, homes, etc., because their minds are focused on the demands of the season or what obligations they have before the holiday arrives. Burglaries are a "crime of opportunity" and holidays increase this condition. Following are some r recommendations to help avoid creating an opportune environment for theft to occur. At the end of the article is a Home Security Checklist.

The use of security products is great to assist in securing your home, but safe security practices also contribute to the overall practice of good security.

  1. Check to ensure that all exterior lights are in good working condition.
  2. Ensure that all door locks are working and consider at entry points putting key deadbolt locks on doors
  3. Keep your garage door closed at all times when it is not in use.
  4. Use interior lights on a timer system.
  5. If your home has sliding glass doors, on the interior frame insert a steel pin or metal hinge bar to stop the doors from opening.
  6. Remove your garage door opener from your vehicle each evening if it is parked outside the garage.

With the reduction in cost of closed circuit television systems, it is fast becoming widely used in home security. Signage indicating your home is protected by alarm and close circuit television is also a major deterrent to the threat of burglary. Still, the hardwired alarm system on all windows and doors is hard to beat in home protection. In selecting an alarm company for installation and maintenance, ask for current references about their system.

The electronic market is being flooded with low cost home security options. There are systems such as doorbells with video recording that can be monitored on your cell phone.. How effective these are has yet to be measured.

During holiday season, homeowners often have the lighted Christmans tree in the window for all to see. Below the tree are beautifully wrapped presents, which is an ideal target for burglars to look in and see what is available to steal. With good locks, plenty of lights on in the evening (both interior and exterior) are a good deterrent. Be aware of what is happening in your neighborhood; watch for different vehicles you may not recognize as burglars usually "case" a home before breaking in; they rarely just drive up and break in.

The best security practices are getting to know your neighbors, with the common goal of watching your neighborhood. The more eyes watching, the better the result in deterring burglaries. Work as a team in picking up your newspapers, mail and any boxes dropped on your doorstep by package delivery people. If traveling, have neighbors you trust walk around the outside of your home once or twice daily. The use of timers on your interior lights set to come on at different times to make your home appear occupied.

Do not leave your valuables on top of dressers or night stands or in jewelry boxes within the first drawer of your dressing stand. Find a secure spot within your home to store your valuables instead of the proverbial "under the mattress" options.

Following is a home security checklist published by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office that may be helpful to you:


  1. Do exterior lights illuminate all entrances to your home?
  2. Is shrubbery kept trimmed back so a burglar can't hide near windows and doors?
  3. Are garage doors kept closed and locked at all times?
  4. Are exterior doors made of solid core construction (including door leading from garage to house)?
  5. Is there a peephole viewer (180°) on the front door?
  6. Are sliding glass doors secured with auxiliary locks or pinned, and are screws in the track to prevent removal of doors?
  7. Are exterior doors secured with a deadbolt key lock (single or double cylinder) with a minimum one (1) inch throw?
  8. Are windows secured with auxiliary keyed locks or pinned with a nail?
  9. Do you report suspicious persons or activity in the neighborhood to the police immediately?
  10. Are doors locked at all times?
  11. Are your valuables marked with your Florida Driver's license number, and do you have a record of them with complete serial number, make and model?

If you were able to answer YES to all of the above precautions, you have greatly decreased the likelihood of your home being burglarized.

In summary, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has a program called SHADCO (Sheriff's Advising Council) that I encourage residents to participate in. Normally, monthly meetings in your residential area give homeowners a chance to meet with your patrol officers and discuss concerns and learn about crime conditions in your neighborhood. Contact the Community Affairs Division of the Sheriff's Office for more information.

We hope that these suggestions will help you secure or better secure your property.

Connie Robertson, President,
Jim Robertson, Vice President
River City Security Services, Inc.