Recently I saw a flier published by the Newport Beach Police Department titled "When a Stranger Knocks" that discusses ways to protect your home. The flier also offered a free individualized home inspection with NBPD's crime prevention unit.
I was intrigued, so I called and spoke to Crime Prevention Specialist Andi Querry about the program, and she gave me some suggestions that even should be used if you live in a gated community.
The first focus of attention is your house's landscaping, especially near the front door. Large bushes and plants, as well as trees with low-hanging branches, can conceal potential burglars from your view and should be removed or trimmed. In addition, $200 will purchase a security camera system that is low tech and easy to install that will greatly expand your vision. Porch lights with at least 60-watt bulbs should also be placed on timers so that they provide illumination throughout the night. And movement detector lights are also helpful, but should only be installed in side areas of the house, where there is not much expected movement from cars, animals or large leaves being moved by the wind.