Environmental Design

The Sheriff's Office crime prevention deputies are well-versed in the concept of crime prevention through environmental design, or CPTED. CPTED tactics can help residents make their homes less attractive to burglars. Some elements of CPTED include lighting, landscaping and locks.

Most criminals prefer to take the easy path to stealing. Given a choice of homes in a neighborhood, they will choose to break into the homes that are darkest and / or most secluded. If your house is not among the easiest to burglarize, criminals will likely pass it by.

Check out our crime prevention deputy's tips on burglar proofing your home


Sufficient lighting around a home can be a deterrent to criminals, who do not want to be seen when committing their crimes. Use porch lights, landscape lighting, and lighting around the doors to your home. Consider motion-activated lighting on the exterior of your home. The light doesn't have to be excessive – just enough so that neighbors or passersby could see someone around the outside of your home.

Lighting inside a home can also deter criminals, who may believe someone is home when the lights are on. Light timers are inexpensive and can be purchased at stores like Target and Home Depot.


Remove objects that prevent you from seeing unwanted guests on your property. Trim low tree branches and keep shrubbery trimmed so that it does not provide a hiding place for criminals. Remove trees or bushes that block the view of windows or doors.

Landscaping along the perimeter of your property with shrubs or rock can visually distinguish your property from public areas and discourage casual criminals from accessing your yard. If you have fencing on your property, keep it in good condition so that it creates an effective barrier between your yard and the space around it.


To significantly reduce the chance of being burglarized, lock your doors. Keep all doors closed and locked, whether you’re home or not. Be sure that all doors, including inside garage doors, have deadbolt locks.

Garage Doors

Finally, make an effort to keep the garage door closed at all times, whether or not you are home. One of the most common means for criminals in Jefferson County to burglarize homes is to prey on those with open garage doors, even in the middle of the day. They may take valuables from the garage, or use the open garage to access the house itself.