Spring is in the air and unfortunately so are residential burglaries. Since the beginning of the year we have seen a recent uptick of residential burglaries. In crime prevention we stress making your home a tougher target by having multiple “layers” of security. Well, how do you do that?

First, take a good look at your house. Ask yourself some of these questions. Do you have adequate locks on all your doors? Any exterior door that only has a lock in the doorknob isn’t secure. A screwdriver or small pry bar can quickly bow the doorjamb enough to release the latch.

Did you know that there is a grading system for locks? The American Nation Standards Institute (ANSI) has a grading scale for locks that ranges from 1 (the highest grade) to 3 (the lowest grade). It factors in longevity of the lock, toughness, and latch length. If you have older locks you might want to look into replacing them. Deadbolt locks should have at least a one inch throw.

Most of the time if a door is forced open, it is not the door lock that fails, but the doorjamb. Have you installed a high security strike plate or have you replaced the wimpy 3/4 inch screws with 3 inch wood screws that will reach the wall frame? Doing so will increase the doorjambs performance and strength.

Keep those garage doors closed; an empty garage or a missing vehicle can alert thieves that the home is unattended. Do you regularly lock your service door coming in from the garage? Most people don’t, but you should.

The back sliding patio door or French doors are also vulnerable points. They are in the back of your home and secluded. Make sure they are locked and look into a secondary locking system.

Look at your lighting. Sufficient lighting both internal and external can help deter thieves from even targeting a home. Burglars typically select a poorly-lit home, as darkness affords additional cover from watchful neighbors or passers-by.

You know your neighborhood best. Be the eyes and ears of your neighborhood and report suspicious activity to 9-1-1.

Learn more! From 1 to 2PM on Mon., March 19, at the 95th Street Library; and from 6:30 to 7:30PM and Wed., March 28, at the Municipal Center the Naperville Police Department will be presenting information on burglary prevention. For more information, visit www.naperville.il.us/asafernaper.

Until next month, stay aware and stay safe.