Protecting Your Home


Locks only work if you use them!  Remember to close and lock doors when you are not at home or when you are in another part of the house.  Windows should be locked when they are closed.  Secure any window air-conditioning units so they cannot be removed by a burglar for easy access to a home.

Deadbolts should be used on every exterior door and should have a minimum of a 1 1/2-inch throw.  Strike plates should be secured with 3-inch wood screws (typically these are installed with 1-inch screws which offer little resistance against an individual attempting to force a door open).  


Night-time lighting should be focused on potential access areas of your home such as exterior doors and garage doors.  Spotlights or floodlights are not always the best choice; you want a light that shields the glare from your eyes and illuminates the area you want to view at night, as well as a light that doesn't annoy your neighbors.  Motion sensors are a great tool for exterior lighting--in addition to scaring away potential criminals, they also alert neighbors and homeowners if motion is detected.  



Ground vegetation (shrubberies and plants) should be trimmed down to no higher than 36 inches tall, and any low-hanging branches on trees should be removed so remaining branches are at least 6 feet off the ground. This eliminates potential hiding spots for burglars who may be prowling about after dark.


The Greenville Police Department is often asked about cameras and home security systems. While we do not recommend any particular product or brand over any other, it is helpful to have a security system installed, and if that system includes cameras it is even better. Cameras themselves typically do not deter criminals, but good-quality camera footage can be extremely helpful in identifying suspects in crimes, which in turn can lead to an arrest of a suspect and possibly the return of the property that was stolen.

Although home burglaries may seem random in occurrence, they actually involve a selection process. The burglar's selection process is simple - choose an unoccupied home with the easiest access, the greatest amount of cover and with the best escape routes. Target hardening, or protecting vulnerable areas of your home and property by means of physical security devices, is an excellent starting point for reducing the likelihood that your house or apartment will be burglarized.

Learn more about how you can minimize your risk (PDF) by making your home unattractive to potential burglars.

Crime Prevention Begins At Home

  1. Front Entrance
  2. Ground Floor Windows
  3. Upper Floor Windows
  4. Basement Windows
  5. Garage Door
  6. Porch & Patio Doors
  7. Yard Lights
  8. Landscaping
  9. Be Neighborly
  10. Yard Lights

All front entrance doors should be metal clad or of solid core wood construction. A deadbolt lock, in addition to the key-in-the-knob lock, is essential. Use a wide-angle viewer rather than a door chain to observe callers. A screen door or storm door offers additional protection if kept locked.