Residential Security

Home Alarm System

A question that is often asked the Crime Prevention Unit is whether or not a home alarms system is needed. This can be a tough question to answer. It is not because Vernon Hills has any more or less crime than any other community, rather, it is a tough question to answer because everyone's personal situation is different.

For example, you may have something specific that you want to protect. For someone else, a security system might give the family peace of mind. Whether or not you have an alarm system installed in your home is a decision that must be made with your specific situation in mind.

Vernon Hills does have an ordinance regulating residential alarm systems and false alarms.

Do Your Homework

Here a couple good resources to check out before you commit to any one alarm system/company:

Electronic Security Association

Better Business Bureau

Security Tips

Secure House

However, even if you decide to have a system installed, that does not negate your responsibility to use common sense. On the opposite end, if you decide against an alarm system, you can still (and should) secure your home by adhering to some basic rules:

  • Be sure to lock your doors. If an intruder comes upon a locked door, he would probably continue on until he finds an unlocked one. Make sure that the entry door has a deadbolt lock on it. If you have a sliding patio door, an auxiliary lock is highly recommended.
  • Do not leave notes on your door as this is an obvious sign that no one is home.
  • If you get a morning paper, bring it in before the last person leaves the house for the day. This is an obvious sign that no one is home.
  • Keep your first floor windows or other accessible windows shut and locked, or install auxiliary locks that permit partial opening.
  • Keep the shrubbery cut back so that it will not conceal someone who is standing outside a window or door.
  • Use an answering machine, but don't have the outgoing message state that no one is home.
  • Use appliance timers. Have at least one light on each floor go on/off automatically. Timers can also be used to turn a radio on/off. Also, install a timer to turn on the porch or garage light.

The hardware needed to secure any door or window is available at any locksmith and at most home centers.

The suggestions mentioned above are very general in nature and are not intended to be a complete answer to every situation. While these tips will help to make any home more secure, there are always additional security measures that will be unique to every residence.

Property Inventory

It's a great idea to have a complete inventory of your property in the event of burglary, theft or fire. Photo's or video of the property is highly recommended. The inventory should also include model number and serial numbers (if applicable), description, color, cost and any other markings. Photograph, copy and/or scan all available receipts.

Garage and Vehicles

It's easy to forget to close your garage door, but it's even more prevalent in the summer when it's used more.

Not a year goes by when these types of crimes don't occur. Sometimes, an offender will enter unlocked vehicles and used the garage door opener that was in the vehicle to gain access to the garage. 

Lock your car doors while at home, even if cars are stored inside your garage.

NEVER leave keys in your vehicle!

Remove valuables from view inside vehicles, even if the vehicle is locked.

Check Them Both!

Please, double-check both your car and garage door before you turn in.  Does your garage have a service door?  Many garages do, especially those that are detached from the home. If the answer is yes, keep it locked also.

Additional Information

For inquiries or clarifications regarding any of the above, or for additional questions relating to home security, contact the Crime Prevention Unit at 847-247-4889. The Crime Prevention Unit is also available to conduct a security survey of your home. There is no charge for this service.