Before you pack your bags for that much deserved vacation, there are a few precautionary measures you need to know to make your home as burglar-proof as possible.

Many intruders enter through weak doors. Having strong doors and door frames, including garage doors, is essential to your security. Steel doors and frames provide good security because they are harder to destroy. If you have hollow-core doors, it is recommended that you replace them with a sturdier type. There are wooden doors being manufactured to withstand a tremendous amount of pressure from would-be burglars.

Secure windows and sliding glass doors can be secured with a locking device placed along the track. A broomstick or a wooden rod may work just as well if placed on the track between the doorframe and the door. Glass sliding doors are usually secluded from public view and special care must be taken to secure them. Bolt locks can be installed to help prevent the door from being opened or removed from its track.

Burglaries can occur when you are out during the daytime as well as just before dark. Burglars will sometimes log your departure and arrival times from and to your home. Here are some tips to help ruin their plot:

· Don’t advertise that you’ll be out of town to casual acquaintances. Instead, tell a reliable neighbor and have him/her watch your property.

· Leave a few lights on or use timers that will turn lights on and off periodically.

· Leave drapes in a normal position. Drapes or shades fully closed give a deserted look.

· Mark your valuables with your driver’s license number or an identifying mark.

· Make an inventory list of all your belongings, include serial numbers.

· Stop all newspaper deliveries and have someone pick up your mail.

The Houston Police Department encourages all homeowners to take part in the Operation I.D. Program by using an etching device to mark your valuables. Store an inventory of your valuables in a safety deposit box or fire safe or file it with your homeowners insurance company. Share this safety information with your neighbors and join the Houston Police Department’s or local law enforcement agency’s efforts in crime prevention.

For more information on reducing the chances of having your home burglarized, call the HPD Community Services Division at 713-308-3200 or your local law enforcement agency.