Target Hardening Your Home – Safety & Security Tips


Increase your security and follow these crime prevention tips to target harden your home.  Target hardening involves initiating steps and efforts designed to make it harder for a crime to be committed and reduces the gains of crime. Target hardening increases the efforts that offenders must expend in the commission of a crime and is the most long-established and traditional approach to crime prevention. It is directed at denying or limiting access to a crime target through the use of physical barriers such as fences, gates, locks, electronic alarms and security patrols.

Making your home safe from crime can start with properly locked doors and windows, proper home security lighting, maintaining landscaping and adhering to home security tips.


  • Lock all doors and windows. Most burglars enter through unlocked entries. Don’t make it easy for them.
  • If you have an alarm system, use it. Consider installing an alarm system if you do not have one.
  • Lock and secure all vehicles. Garages should be kept closed and locked when not being used.\
  • Do not leave bicycles, tools and other items outside the house or in the driveway.
  • Set an automatic timer for lights if you go away, and ask a trusted friend or neighbor to keep an eye out.
  • Some cities provide a “Watch Order”, giving police permission to check on your home if you go away for a period of time.
  • Refrain from using social networks to announce a trip.
  • Do not leave an answering machine or voice mail greeting stating you are away and not home.


  • Install and maintain perimeter and spot lighting around your home.
  • Leave outside lights on after dark. Install timers, motion sensors, and other options to control frequency and lighting levels.
  • Entry doors, porches, backyards and driveways should all have lighting to help deter criminal activity.
  • Know the difference between security lighting and decorative landscape lighting.


  • Keep trees, shrubbery and bushes trimmed and well maintained. This helps with visibility and limits ability for someone to hide.
  • From the front, rear and sides of your yard, observe and dark areas and install some form of lighting.
  • Keep landscaping from obstructing lighting fixtures.


  • Use double deadbolt locks with a 1″ throw.
  • Install strike latch plates on entry doors. These block the area of the door where something flat can be pried in to force open the locking device.
  • Install a Charlie Bar, which secures sliding glass doors and prevents them from opening.
  • For extra security, a doorknob vibration sensor can alert you if someone is tampering with a doorknob.
  • Never leave house keys hidden outside under a door mat or a flower pot.

The Crime Prevention Triangle theory states that in order for crime to occur, three elements must be present. Desire, Ability, and Opportunity. If any one of these is missing, no crime will occur. The main objective of Crime Prevention is to reduce the opportunity for crime, thereby reducing the likelihood that crime will occur.