Beware of hollow-core door construction for exterior or security doors. For exterior protection you need solid core doors and quality locks.
Watch for poor locks which are easily forced or kicked open. Spring locks / latches can not be opened with a credit card or knife.
Many burglars enter homes through improperly secured sliding glass doors. Additional locks and security measures will prevent the door from being opened or lifted out of the track. Flush lever bolts installed at the top and bottom of the doors are recommended.
Double doors need solid security as they are easily jimmied or forced open.
Doors with glass windows require double key deadbolt locks. The key to a double key deadbolt lock should be left in the lock at all times when someone is home to ensure easy exit in the event of a fire or other emergency.
Beware of exterior doors that open out as hinge pins can be removed.
Install a door viewer to let you see someone standing outside your door.
Burglars search for homes that appear to be unoccupied. A car in the driveway, motion-sensitive exterior lights, interior lights, and radios and TVs on timers all give the impression that someone is home.
Stop newspaper and mail delivery, and have neighbors watch your home.
Buglers want to spend no more than 60 seconds breaking into a home. Measures that increase this time include deadbolt locks, bars on windows, and pins in sash windows. Seeing these may change a burglar's mind.
Don't give burglars any help. Secure tool sheds and ladders. Some thieves will steal tools from around your property and use them to break windows and doors.
Don't give burglars a place to hide. Clear shrubs and trees around your home.
Engrave your driver's license number on valuables. Do not use other forms of identification as it can be used against you in identity theft or it may not be enough for the police to identify your property.
Photograph / video tape your belongings and maintain receipts and serial numbers. This helps police and the insurance company identify what property you had before a loss. Keep this information in a safe place or even a bank safety deposit box in case of fire.
Sliding glass windows should be given the same attention as sliding glass doors. Use the same supplementary locks or screws in the frame to prevent the window from being lifted out of the track.
Double hung windows can be similarly secured by a pin or screw which limits how far a window can be opened. You also may purchase special key locks for windows at a hardware store. Crank windows are easily secured. The latch should close properly with the window tight.