Protect Your Home From Crime

With the holiday season around the corner, take a moment to read our Residential Burglary Crime Prevention Tips!


Here are other ways you can help protect your home from crime:

Examine exterior shrubs and bushes; their height should be below window level to avoid creating hiding places for burglars. Examine trees from the street. They should be above window level and away from doors.

Examine all exterior doors. The door should be solid core with a deadbolt that goes into the jamb at least 1″. The metal strike plate should be fastened with 1 1/2″ – 2″ screws. Any exterior door with glass or within 40″ of glass should be double-keyed.

Doors should also have a through-door viewer with 180-degree visibility. Do not open the door to strangers or let them in to use the phone. Get the phone number and make the call for them. Remember that door chains will break with a relatively small amount of force. If you have an intercom system, use it to speak to the party at the door.

Examine window locks. The locks should be in good working order. Drill holes in windows 6″ above the lower section and install pins that will restrict the opening of windows. Be sure to use pins, not screws, so that they can be removed easily in case of fire.

Windows with mini-blinds should have curtains for privacy. Interior rooms are visible through blind cord openings when lights are on inside.

Examine patio doors. The doors should have #8 or #10 screws in the top (not fully screwed in) to prevent lifting the door out of the track. Drill a hole through the bottom of the frames of the fixed door and the sliding door where they overlap. Pin the doors together by using a steel pin to “lock” the sliding door. A steel or aluminum bar can also be used. A typical sliding door lock is easily defeated by a burglar.

Examine exterior lighting. There should be a minimum of 60-watt lighting over every door. Floodlights with motion detectors should be on opposite corners of the house and over the garage.

Use timers on your lights, radio, or TV when you are away from home. Make the house look like someone is always there. Have a neighbor park in your driveway occasionally while you’re away.

Never leave your house unlocked; even when you are out working in your yard. Be sure that all doors you cannot see are locked. Don’t hide keys outside your home.

Make an inventory of your property and valuables, including serial numbers. Keep one copy of the inventory at home and one at your place of employment. Photograph or videotape your belongings.

Get to know your neighbors. They are your first line of defense if you ever need help. Let them know when you’ll be gone and who to expect at your house. Ask them to report any strange people or activity to the Wilmette Police. Tell them you’ll be happy to do the same for them.

Contact the Wilmette Police and let them know that you will be out of town. You can also provide the Police Department with a phone number where you or a person that you designate can be reached in case of emergency.


Garages and their contents are popular targets for thieves, particularly during the summer months. The most vulnerable garages are detached structures which are accessed by alleys. Last year, over 80% of the garages entered in Wilmette were unlocked. Please be sure to:

Close and lock your overhead garage door.

Secure your service door just as you would a door to your residence, including the use of deadbolt locks.

Lock your car, even while it’s in your garage.

Lock your bicycles to permanent fixtures within the garage.

Increase the lighting around your home, yard, and garage area.

If your garage is on an alley put your house number on it in a prominent location.