Home Security Surveys
A basic premise of crime watch is to make your property as difficult a target as possible for burglary. One of the best ways to accomplish this is with the proper installation devices around your home. Many security devises and techniques can be used to make your home more burglars resistant. Most people are not experts on the use of security techniques. They may be unaware of areas around their homes which could offer an invitation for a burglar to gain access.
The DPD encourages every property owner to arrange a free home security survey, available by simply scheduling an appointment with a crime prevention specialist at our substation. The crime prevention specialist is trained in the latest tested methods and devices used for properly securing your residence. The officer will come to your home with a checklist in hand to begin an inspection at the front door and work around the entire inside and outside of the residence with you to determine weaknesses and hazards that may require attention to become more burglar resistant. The officer will examine doors, locks, windows, lights, landscaping, gates, and garages. He or she will give you professional advice and recommendations about how best to secure your residence to reduce the risk of becoming a target for a burglary. Many of their recommendations may be inexpensive methods that will add security to your home. lt is up to you whether you implement those recommendations, or not.
Homeowner’s Insurance Reduction Survey
Texas law provides for reductions in homeowner’s insurance premiums if your home complies with certain security standards. The crime prevention specialist will use a checklist to perform a complete inspection of your home looking for specific requirements of the law that must be met to qualify for the reduction. The law provides for two levels of reductions.
An overview of the requirements for a 5% insurance reduction is as follows:
Exterior doors, including a door to an attached garage, must be metal or 1 3/8 of solid core wood doors, secured by deadbolt locks with a minimum bolt throw of one inch that penetrates a metal strike plate.
Double doors must meet the above requirements plus the inactive door must be secured by headers and threshold bolts that penetrate metal strike plates.
Deadbolts located within 40 inches of breakable glass must be key operated from both sides, unless prohibited by fire safety codes. Similarly, header and threshold bolts located within 40 inches of breakable glass must be flushed mounted in the edge of the door.
Sliding glass doors must be secured by secondary locking devices to prevent lifting and prying.
Dutch doors must have concealed flush bolt-locking devices to interlock upper and lower halves and be secured by a deadbolt lock
Garage doors must be equipped with a key operated locking device.
Windows must be secured by auxiliary locking devices, such as key operated locks, screws, wooden dowels, pinning devices or metal bars.
The requirements for a 15% homeowner’s insurance reduction are a monitored security alarm system which includes the following:
Magnetic contact sensors on all exterior doors and windows, including interior, exterior, and overhead garage doors and upstairs windows.
An interior and exterior siren.
Prior to the officer inspecting your premises, you must obtain a letter from your security company addressed to you at your current residence stating:
“All alarm equipment is Underwriters Laboratory Approved and the alarm is monitored by an Underwriters Laboratory approved central station. The sales, service, installation, and monitoring of the system are done in compliance with the Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies Act, Article 4413 (29bb) Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes.”
The reductions may be applied separately or jointly. In other words, your home may qualify for a 5%, 15%, or 20% insurance reduction.
The DPD asks that you check to determine that the appropriate requirements are met prior to scheduling the insurance reduction survey. If you believe your home meets all the requirements for either or both reductions, and you have obtained a letter from your alarm company, if applicable, call the crime prevention officer to schedule an appointment. If and when you meet the necessary requirements, the officer will file a written report with the Texas State Board of Insurance which will issue a Premium Reduction Certificate to be filed with your insurance company. Insurance companies are required by Texas state law to honor the Reduction Certificates. The certificate is valid for three years and can be renewed for an additional three years at the request of the policyholder after an additional inspection.