Physical Improvements

Your Home

  • Buy door bars: These bars are available as rod or bar locks and are very effective and inexpensive.
  • Get deadbolt locks and a reinforced metal box strike for your front door: You may have a metal or fiberglass door but without reinforced locks and metal box strike, burglars can easily get into your house. Deadbolt locks are more secure since they have a double locking system making them harder to break. The Medeco Maxum 11WC60L ($190) was best recommended by ConsumerReports.org. Make sure to use 3-inch-long screws to mount them so they lodge in the framing beyond the doorjamb.
  • Get a motion sensor light: This security tool can be used for your back and/or front yard door to scare away any burglars who approach your house during the night.
  • Get a timer switch: Use this security tool for a couple of lamps in your house to allow for the lights in your house to turn on periodically when you are away. Make sure to change the times periodically to avoid predictability. This security tip is especially useful if you are away from an extended amount of time.
  • Reinforce glass areas: Security window film can fairly resist blows and could potentially drive away intruders after experiencing difficulty to get into your house. Before you buy security window film, make sure to inform yourself and read this document by a threat protection products manufacturer.
  • Keep dark areas bright: Illuminate areas around doors, windows, and blind spots. Install lights high upon exterior walls so they can't easily be disabled. Solar-powered lights are too dim to provide enough light for security and compact flourescent light bulbs may take longer to reach full brightness. You can buy easy-to-install, low voltage (120-volt) lights and connect them to motion detectors and whole-house security systems.
  • Install an alarm: Make sure to do your homework prior to installing a home alarm system. You may want to consider price, contractors options, wireless vs. wired systems, and other factors when installing the best alarm system for your home and for your buck. However, be weary of burglar-alarm scams by salespeople. To learn more, visit this siteWhen installing your security cameras, be sure to get informed on the Burglar Alarm Ordinance adopted by the City of Oakland in an effort to respond to emergency alarms more efficiently. For more information, please visit this website.
  • Install suveillance cameras: Surveillance cameras can help deter crime from happening in your house or around your home. For more information on how to install your camera, please visit this webpage.

Your Car

  • Install a car alarm: Especially if it's in an apartment parking lot (or on the street).
  • Get an automobile security tracking device: By using a GPS-based system, the computer can locate your stolen car any time and anywhere. However, you will need to decide on having a camera label on your car.

Motorycycles or Bicycles

  • Don't use combination locks or chains: Combination locks are easily picked, chains are easily cut. Whether protecting a motorcycle or a bicycle from theft, avoid combination locks and stick with keyed locks.
  • Go for case-hardened, encased cable instead of chains: Look for articulated case-hardened units since the circular ball bearing locking system is one of the most difficult type locks to pick (that's why you see them on vending machines).