Residential Security

Residents should consider the following options to increase the security in your apartment or condominium:

Underground Garage Area

  • Stop once you are inside remain until the garage door closes to prevent any unwanted individuals from entering.
  • Lock your vehicle and remove all valuables.
  • Valuables such as bicycles should be locked in a secure area or storage room.

  • Never let anyone in that you don’t know.
  • Report all issues regarding doors, locks, and security concerns to your property manager right away.

  • Lock your doors, windows, and draw your shades at night.
  • Install deadbolt locks of good quality with a 1-inch throw.
  • Add security strike plates – heavy duty plates approximately 6 inches long that use four to six 3-inch screws.
  • Install 180-degree, wide angle viewer to your door.
  • Secure all sliding glass doors with a length of wood in the track or by adding a Charley Bar.

Call 9-1-1 if you see or hear anything suspicious.

A few simple alterations to the exterior of your home can be enough to deter intruders from attempting entry. Trim bushes, shrubs and trees so all of your doors and windows are visible to your neighbors or to the street. Your home’s landscaping should not provide concealment for criminals. Unobstructed doors and windows are a deterrent because intruders are forced to work where they can be seen.

Maintain adequate lighting, especially at entry points to the home. Motion activated lights may not only startle would be intruders, but can alert you or your neighbors to movement around your home. Conduct monthly checks to ensure all of the exterior lights around your home are working properly. Display house numbers that easily seen and read from the street. Consider aiming an exterior light at the numbers themselves. Emergency responders can save critical time when the street address for your home is visible from a distance. Adding a second set of house numbers near the street or on a mailbox also helps emergency responders locate your residence.

Limit direct access to your yard or storage shed. Intruders look for none, or few obstacles blocking quick exits. Fences prevent burglars from carrying away large items if the gates are locked. If you have or install a fence, consider locking the gates when they are not in use. Ladders and tools should be stored in a garage or shed and the enclosure should remain locked. Place all other items of value including lawnmowers, bicycles and power tools inside the enclosure as well. Landscaping should also be designed to control access to your property. Proper barriers make the intruder feel uncomfortable as he or she approaches your home.

Always lock your garage doors. This is especially important if you have an attached garage. Burglars can enter your home through the door leading from an attached garage to the house.

All exterior doors should be solid core wood (at least 1 3/4” thick) or metal wrapped. Your doors should fit their frames tightly, with no more than 1/8” clearance between the door and the frame. This will boost your protection, and save energy too! Most hollow core doors can be easily breached and doors with large gaps in the frame are easily pried open. Remember that any exterior door to your garage is also an exterior door to your home.

Electronic garage door openers with automatic locking devices offer good security against burglaries. Keep transmitters in a safe place. Avoid leaving transmitters in vehicles that are parked outside your home. If you suspect a thief has one of your transmitters or obtained your garage door frequency, contact a dealer who will change the frequency.

Garage doors not controlled by an electronic device should be kept locked at all times. Doors not used on a regular basis should be locked inside the garage with a secondary device such as a padlock.

All exterior doors to your home require the use of a deadbolt lock. “Lock-in-knob” locks offer privacy but not security. Most “lock-in-knob” style locks can be opened using a credit card or similar object. Deadbolt locks offer the bet security. There are two types of deadbolt locks. Single cylinder deadbolts have a thumb turn on the interior side. They are convenient to use and may speed up the exit process in the event of an evacuation. If they are near a window it is possible for an intruder to break the glass and turn open the bolt. Double cylinder deadbolts utilize keys on both sides. This type of lock should be considered if there is a window within reach of the lock. This type of lock does present a potential evacuation hazard as the key must be located and inserted into the lock before opening the bolt.

When you install a deadbolt lock, make sure:

  • The bolt extends at least 1” into the front edge of the doors.
  • The bolt is made of case hardened steel or contains a hardened insert.
  • The strike plate is attached through the trim to the doorframe with screws at least 3” long.
  • The cylinder guard must be tapered, round and free spinning to make it difficult to grip with pliers or a wrench. It must be solid metal, not hollow casting or stamped metal.

The strike plate is attached to the doorframe with screws. The metal bolt of the deadbolt lock slides into the strike plate to secure the door into the frame. A high security strike plate is required to keep the metal bolt from being kicked from the doorframe when locked. A high security strike plate should have at least 4 screws that are a minimum of 3” long.

Hinges are often installed with the same ¾” screws as common strike plates. Replace these with 2 to 3” threaded screws so the hinges are anchored to the sub-frame. Avoid exposing hinge pins to the exterior of the home as an intruder may attempt to remove the pins and gain entry.

Patio doors are often more secluded than other entry points to your home. Many patio doors and sliding windows come equipped with a lock that is easily pried open. A supplemental lock should be installed.

Broomsticks cut to fit snug in the track and “Charlie Bars” are a simple cost effective way to provide added protection. Key locking devices are another added security feature that will limit the intruders’ ability to enter or exit through the patio door.

Some sliding glass doors can be lifted out of their track from the outside. By installing two sheet metal screws in the track just above the removable part of the door this can be prevented. Adjust the screws so that the doors or window will clear just underneath them. Drill a hole and insert a nail through the inside frame and part way through the metal doorframe. You will be able to remove the nail when needed but the burglar cannot.

Casement windows that crank outward provide good security for your home. Make sure that you lock the window when they are closed. This will prevent an intruder from breaking the glass and cranking the window open themselves. Do not leave any windows open that are accessible from the ground when you are not home. Lock the same windows while you are asleep.

Double Hung Windows are easier for thieves to jimmy or pry open. These windows can be made more secure by taking these simple, inexpensive precautions. To secure a double hung window, drill a downward sloping hole into the top of the bottom window. Continue drilling through the bottom window into the lower portion of the top window. A pin can now be inserted which will lock the window shut. By partly opening the window (less than 4 inches) and making a second set of holes, the window can then be used for ventilation. Again, open windows and doors should never be left unattended while you are gone or asleep.

Burglar alarms are not a replacement for sensible security practices around the home. They do not substitute for locked doors and windows or for other security precautions. Burglar alarms are another tool that often deter intruders from entering a residence. The most effective alarm systems not only detect an intrusion into your home, but are also monitored by a central station that can alert police for a response. The Edina Crime Prevention Fund does not recommend any particular alarm monitoring company. Residents who want to install an alarm system should research several monitoring companies before purchasing a system. The Edina Police Department provides one free response per calendar year for false automatic burglar alarms. For more information refer to the Minnesota Crime Watch Booklet, “Burglar Alarms: Do You Need One?”

Making your home appear occupied while away on vacation will help discourage burglaries. Here are some simple tips to help give the impression that you are home.

  • Use automatic timers to turn lights on at dusk and off around bedtime. Consider putting the television on a timer as well. Vary the times that lights turn on and off if possible.
  • Keep garage doors closed and locked. Park a vehicle or two in the driveway. Make sure the vehicles are locked and no valuables are left inside.
  • Stop the mail and newspaper or have a trusted neighbor collect both each day.
  • Turn your telephone ringers to off and lower the volume on any answering machines. A loud unanswered telephone ring can tip off intruders that no one is home.
  • Make arrangements to have your lawn mowed and/or driveway plowed.
  • Tell a neighbor where you can be reached in case of an emergency and ask the neighbor to check on your home occasionally.
  • Do not tell more people than necessary that you will be away from the home.

Often people come through the community selling goods or services such as magazines, wood, snow removal, etc. Door-to-door sales are not illegal and many of these are legitimate vendors. The Edina Police Department encourages residents to review the following information.

All peddlers/solicitors must register at the police department. Some need to obtain a permit which must be displayed on an outer garment. Not-for-profit groups need only register and do not require a permit.

In addition to the above restrictions, ALL peddlers/solicitors:

  • Must conduct business only between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • May attempt contact only at the main entrance or front door of a residence and may not walk on the side or rear of the residence.
  • Must leave promptly after contact or attempt to make contact.
  • May not commit any act constituting harassment, nuisance, menace, theft or deceit.

Peddlers and solicitors may be prohibited by placard.

Any resident who wishes to exclude peddlers or solicitors from their dwelling may place near the usual entrance to the dwelling a printed placard or sign bearing the following notice: “Peddlers and Solicitors Prohibited”. The placard shall be at least 3 ¾” long and 3 ¾” wide and the printing shall be no smaller than 48-point type. These placards are available at City Hall and may be purchased for $3 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

A resident who displays the placard and still has a peddler or solicitor attempt to make contact should call 9-1-1, state the situation, and give a concise description of the peddler, his vehicle and his direction of travel. An officer will be dispatched to talk with the peddler.

A resident who does not display the placard may call 9-1-1 if he or she notices any suspicious activity with the peddler (such as looking into vehicles or garages, refuses to leave property, etc.) or has reasonable fear or concern for his/her safety.

For more information contact the Edina Police Department, 952-826-1610, or visit and go to “City Codes.”

Download these guidelines on Peddlers and Solicitors.

The Edina Police Department encourages everyone who lives and works in the community to make effective use of the 9-1-1 Communication System. In 1992, after an extensive study, the Metropolitan 9-1-1 Board changed 9-1-1 from strictly emergency to police, fire and medical RESPONSE. This system is in place to facilitate all public safety responses whenever assistance is needed. Follow these guidelines:

WHEN to use 9-1-1:

  • To report an accident or any public safety emergency.
  • If you see someone looking into or tampering with cars or walking into backyards, garages, etc.
  • If you see a vehicle slowly "cruising" your neighborhood.
  • If you see any suspicious activity in other areas -- parks, etc.
  • If you smell a burning odor and are unable to locate the source.
  • If you are feeling ill and think an ambulance might be needed.

When in doubt or unsure of the situation, call 9-1-1 and a dispatcher will assist you.

HOW to use 9-1-1:
  • Stay calm.
  • State the problem.
  • State the location.
  • Answer all the questions.
  • Stay on the line until the dispatcher ends the call.

You can dial 9-1-1 from any pay phone without depositing money. If you call from a cellular telephone, the call might be received by the State Patrol and transferred to the appropriate agency.

If you have any questions about this information, or other safety or security concerns, call Crime Prevention, Edina Police Department, 952-826-1610.

Download these guidelines on using 9-1-1.