10 ways to secure your home

Authorities offer tips on safeguarding your home and family

9. Go around the back. The back of the house isn't visible from the street and can offer some tantalizing ways for a burglar to get in. Sliding doors are the easiest way to gain entry, so make sure they're always locked. Some people put boards or rods at the base of the slider to keep it from being opened. Don't ever leave a ladder outdoors a burglar can climb up one to an unlocked second-story window.

10. Think safety, as well as security. Although a deadbolt lock that opens with a key from the inside may be the most secure, a turning deadbolt is better, because it permits a quick exit in the event of a fire or other emergency, Mickalide said. Bars on your windows may keep burglars out, but they can keep you in, too. If you must have bars, get the ones that allow you to open them easily from the inside, and practice doing it so you don't panic in an emergency. "Don't ever impede your exit from the house," Mickalide said.