Now is a good time to assess the security of your home.

Here are a dozen ways to make your home more secure.

1. Locks
Check all locks to verify that they are in working order. If you don't already have them, consider swapping out your locks for grade 1 or 2 dead-bolt locks that penetrate the door frame. Also, inspect doors or areas of your property that you haven't visited recently, such as sheds and patios and the back door to the garage to make sure they are secure.

2. Guest Access – Keys and Codes
Perhaps you hid or shared a key or gave out gate or house access codes when you went on vacation. Or you shared these with people who no longer live with or work for you. If you have teens, they may have given codes out to their friends over the years. Now is a good time to collect those keys and consider changing access codes. You should also review with teens your rules about sharing your house keys or gate or house access codes with their friends.

3. Outdoor Lights
As soon as pollen season ends, clean and test all exterior light to be sure they are in good working order. Don't forget about the motion sensor or light sensor lights. If these are on timers, verify the light times now that the time has changed.

4. Windows
Check all windows to make sure that they close fully and that locks function properly.

5. Security Cameras
Test your exterior camera system to make sure it is working properly and aimed appropriately. If your cameras record video, verify that it is recording properly. Clean the lenses, following manufacturers instructions.

6. Landscaping
A neatly maintained landscape lets people know that the house is occupied and being cared for. Keep shrubbery below the base of the windows so that you can clearly see out. Similarly, replace or trim shrubbery that creates a hiding place for a criminal.

7. Batteries
Replace the batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector. Do the same for any remote lights or other security devices in or around your home.

8. House Number
When an emergency strikes, every second counts. Make sure that police, firefighters, or paramedics can quickly find the right address by clearly displaying your house number on the structure, mailbox, or on a yard sign. Make sure that the numbers haven’t faded, fallen off, or been obstructed by foliage.

9. Keys and Remotes
Don’t leave car and house keys and gate or garage remotes near the door or otherwise visible inside your house. Secure them inside a cabinet or a drawer to keep them hidden. Since car fob signals can be copied, you may want to store your fobs in a RFID signal blocking bag.

10. Ladders
Don’t store a ladder outside. Lock them up so that burglars cannot gain access to second-floor windows or balconies.

11. Emergency Escape Plan
Establish and practice an emergency escape plan with your family once or twice a year to make sure everyone is prepared in the case of a fire or break-in.

12. DHP Officer Assessment 
Schedule a home security assessment with one of the DHP police officers by sending a request to [email protected].