Guarding a home ‘common sense’

The Grand Junction Police Department teamed up with Home Depot on Saturday to help Grand Valley residents make their homes safer from intruders.

“A lot of times we will throw these things out to people, but without visuals it sometimes doesn’t click,” police officer Cory Tomps said.

Tomps gave an hourlong demonstration outside Home Depot that used visual displays such as a front doors and sliding windows.

“A lot of this stuff is common sense stuff you can do,” said Dennis Rosette, a master electrical specialist who works at Home Depot.

Tomps warned that even if you took all of the advice, there is no way to make a home foolproof-safe, but it’s possible to make it less appealing to intruders.

“Make yourself less of a target,” he said.

A lot of crimes are crimes of opportunity, doors or windows will be left unlocked, he said.

“Criminals are looking for that easy access, that easy opportunity.”


•  Remove 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch screws from deadbolt strip plate and replace with 3-inch screws to strengthen door.

•  Deadbolt should protrude from housing at least 1 inch.

•  For extra security get anti-lock-bumping locks. They make the lock much harder to pick.

•  Add a layer of poly-carbonate laminate to windows or glass close to the door to strengthen them so intruders don’t break them to unlock doors.

•  Peephole should have at least 180-degree viewing angle.


• Place wooden dowel rod or PVC pipe into track so windows that are left open a crack cannot be fully opened from outside.

•  Use secondary locks on windows to keep them at a particular open width.

•  Install a sensor-activated, audible alarm to scare off potential intruders.


•  Have all four sides of home lit from dusk to dawn. If homeowners association does not allow overnight lights, get motion-sensor activated lights.

•  Make sure lights are high enough that the switch cannot be flipped and bulbs cannot be unscrewed.

•  Check timers on occasion as seasonal light changes.


•  Keep bushes trimmed below the height of a windowsill.

•  Trim evergreens 2 feet from base, trim all other trees 6 feet from base so they are not hiding places.

•  Rocks used to landscape should be smaller than a fist; otherwise they will break windows.

•  Thorny bushes, such as rose bushes, can be used as a barrier to ward off intruders.


•  Leave garage door up no more than 6 inches to let air circulate. Otherwise, intruders may be able to slip underneath.

•  Door to enter home should have a deadbolt lock. Protect it like a front door.


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