skip to content

Our Media



Public Safety Tip: Increase Home Security with The 9 p.m. Routine

Some nationwide efforts begin at home, especially for home security. The nightly social media reminders for the 9 p.m. routine started with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in 2016, and the idea has spread across the country with themes such as “Lock It or Lose It,” and “Lock Up, Turn On, Bring In.”

The 9 p.m. routine looks different for every homeowner, but the idea is to take 10 minutes to set your home on “safe” for the evening. With a few simple actions, you can do your part to reduce preventable crimes and increase your home security.

The most reported stolen items in vehicle burglaries are key fobs, spare keys, money, wallets, firearms, laptops and tools. With a short list and a few minutes each night, you can create a personal home security plan with habits that help prevent vehicle and home burglaries.

Build Your Own 9 p.m. Routine

When the 9 p.m. routine reminder goes off to wind down your home for the evening, what do you do? Here are a few ideas you can modify to create your personal plan for home security:

  • Bring all valuables inside and put away bikes, tools, ladders and toys.
  • Check your mailbox and bring packages inside.
  • Bring in the garage door opener for any cars not in an enclosed garage.
  • Lock your cars, doors, windows, gates and outside storage areas.
  • Safely store your purse, wallet and keys.
  • Close the garage.
  • Lock the door between your home and the garage.
  • Safely store your firearms.
  • Turn on exterior lights, car and home security systems and security cameras.
  • If you see something unusual – report it to your local sheriff’s office.

Altering the Crime Triangle

Does this type of daily routine really make a difference? It can make you less of a target for criminals, as explained through a concept called The Crime Triangle.

The Crime Triangle is made up of three factors that create a criminal offense: desire of a criminal to commit a crime, target of the criminal’s desire and opportunity for the crime to be committed. By taking simple steps before bedtime, you can alter the Crime Triangle.

In particular, practicing the 9 p.m. routine helps prevent car burglaries and home invasions, both crimes of convenience. This habit can also prevent thefts that are opportunities of chance, such as bikes left by the curb.

Simple steps can alter the triangle by removing the target (valuables in a car or a bicycle left out) and eliminating the opportunity for the crime to be committed.

Increase Home Security with New Habits

By focusing on just a few habit changes, you can play a role in protecting your home and neighborhood from crime.

  • Set a reminder or an alarm on your phone for 9 p.m. as a reminder to lock down your home.
  • Follow a social media account that posts a reminder each evening, such as your local sheriff’s office.
  • Sign up for your local sheriff’s office updates through email or text.
  • Have a family group text to remind each other.
  • Make it part of your nightly routine, just like brushing your teeth and setting your morning alarm.

You can do this! Let’s make our communities safer one house at a time. 

The Florida Sheriffs Association is committed to helping you stay informed and safe. You can read more crime and public safety tips here.