New Orleans Police Department Crime Prevention Unit 

Burglary Prevention Tips 

Burglary is usually a crime of opportunity.  Burglars normally devote relatively little time to plan their actions.  Therefore, the more obstacles that are in the way the less likely that the crime will occur.

Basic Home Target Hardening Techniques


    All exterior doors should be metal or solid wood (2 3/4″ thick is preferred), and have strong door hinges on the inside of the door.
    Install impact resistant glass in any location within 42” of a door lock. This will make it more difficult to break the glass, reach in, and unlock the door.
    Properly install doorframes on all exterior doors and doors from attached garages so they cannot be spread apart.
    Install security type door strikes on all exterior doors.
    Install a peephole or wide-angle viewer in all entry doors so that you can see who is outside without opening the door. 


    Always lock all doors and windows when you leave the house. Believe it or not, many burglaries occur when doors and windows are left unlocked.
    Do not provide your keys to service people.
    Install strong, reliable deadbolt locks that extend at least 11/2 inch when in the locked position.
    Consider double cylinder deadbolts (key inside and outside) or deadbolts with reinforced strike plates and extra long (3”) mounting screws to anchor the lock. 

Sliding Glass or Patio Doors

    Secure sliding glass doors with a metal rod or something sturdy in the track. Installing vertical bolts will also prevent burglars from forcing the door open or lifting it off the track.
    There are also a number of commercially produced locking devices for sliding glass doors. 


    For windows with tracts, a small block of wood placed in the track can prevent the window from being opened.
    Nails or pins can help secure windows. Drill a 3/16″ hole from the inside window sash three quarters of the way through the outside sash at a slight downward angle. Then insert a nail or pin into the hole to secure the window.
    Impact resistant glass is an option for basement  or first floor windows. These windows are often-used as access points. 


Interior : Use automatic timers all of the time, not just when you are away.


    Install around doors, porches, windows, garage and all points of entry
    Install motion sensored lights
    Illuminate house and grounds
    Increase visibility and eliminate hiding places     


    Use audible alarms and/or flashing lights to attract attention
    Post alarm signs on the property and stickers on the windows
    Make sure your alarm is monitored
    Use detectors at all entrance points, and motion detectors in high priority areas      


     Always lock the door (house) to attached garage
    When at home, always park your car in the garage with the garage door shut
    Install automatic openers that will allow you to stay in your car until safely parked in the garage 

Other Considerations

    When you’re not at home, make it look like somebody’s there.
    Leave a radio on
    Close curtains but leave lights on
    If on vacation, have a neighbor pick up your newspaper and mail. 

“Hey look what I got!” Avoid advertising your expensive purchases. Cut up boxes and put into trash bags.

    Make a list of your property
    Mark your property with an ID number. Not your social security number.
    Take photos of expensive items
    Make sure of current insurance coverage 

Tools of the Trade

    Lock up your tools in your shade
    Dispose of large rocks and bricks  

Thank you,

Sergeant L. J. Smith

New Orleans Police Department

Commander, Crime Prevention Unit

715 S. Broad Avenue, Office # A- 412

New Orleans, LA 70119

(504) 658-5590 – Office Phone

Sylbrown@nola.gov – Email

For Police Service

(504) 822-1111 – Crime Stoppers

(504) 822-2222 – Non-Emergency

911 – Emergency


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