Crime Prevention Tips

Home Security and Crime Prevention Tips  

From time to time, our neighborhoods sometimes get infected with that nasty germ we call a “criminal”. Just as we are not immune to colds, we are also not immune to crime. There are preventative steps we can take in reducing the chances of catching a cold and there are preventative steps that we can take in reducing the opportunity for a “criminal” to play in our neighborhood.

Here are several home security/crime prevention tips (when implementing these tips, make sure everyone that resides within your residence is aware of the safety features in place and that they know how to get out or get away in an emergency).

Most burglars will spend no longer than 60 seconds trying to break into a home.


Can a prowler or burglar hide in the shadows of the night around your home? Lighting has proven to be an effective deterrent against crime.

Effective lighting should be:

  • Placed to illuminate as many sides of the house as possible.
  • Placed under the eaves of the house with a protective covering to prevent tampering.
  • Kept on during all nighttime periods. (An inexpensive timer or photoelectric cell will automatically turn the light on at dusk and off at dawn.)


Do you just have the lock-in-the-knob type?  Is your latch spring loaded? The lock-in-the-knob offers privacy and convenience but not security.  Many can be slipped by using a simple credit card or screwdriver.

The recommended lock is a deadbolt lock with the following features:

  • A single cylinder deadbolt
  • Have a minimum 1 inch bolt throw
  • Have a rotating cylinder guard
  • Have a five (5) pin tumbler
  • Have a hardened steel interlocking screw.
  • Your exterior doors should be solid with a 190 degree viewer (peep hole).
  • Your strike plate should have screws that are minimum 3 inches in length.
  • All framing and structure that encases door should be solid and not rotted, cracked, split or missing.
  • Because of windows vulnerability, it is recommended to add auxiliary locks or pin your windows.   Remember to allow for easy removal from the inside for fire safety.


What about your trees, bushes and landscaping? Could a potential criminal hide there?

  • Your home should maintain its visibility to that your neighbors can watch for illegal activity.
  • Your trees should be trimmed up to an 8 ft. to 10 ft. canopy, bushes and shrubs should be kept trimmed down to 2 ft. to 3 ft. in height, especially around doors and windows.
  • While planning your landscaping, you might consider discouraging intruders from window areas by planting prickly or sticker plants.


Alarms can be a good investment, especially if you have many valuables, live in an isolated area, or live in an area with a history of break-ins.

  • Check with several alarm companies before you buy
  • Learn how to use your system properly

Your first layer of defense is securing your home, your second layer is the alarm system.

For your FREE Home / Residential Security Survey, please call Community Officer Cynthia Clifford at the Lakeland Police Department (863) 834-3974.

Please report ALL suspicious activity to the Lakeland Police Department (863) 834-6966. For emergencies dial 911.

Lakeland Crime Map