My AC is on, that means it’s summer time. It also means that occasionally the windows may be open, and because we are in the yard the doors sometimes are unlocked. As a result we are slightly more vulnerable to the bad guy. But this doesn’t mean that your guard should be down.
The FBI reports that more burglaries occur during the summer months than any other time of year and that every home is a potential target. According to U.S. Department of Justice statistics, an American home is broken into about every 15 seconds. The best defense against burglary is prevention. With planning you can help make your home unappealing to burglars.
Patrick Fiel, public safety advisor of ADT Security Services said, “There are a few simple, yet important, steps homeowners can take to make their homes less of a target.” To help homeowners secure their homes this summer, Fiel and ADT recommend the following home burglary prevention tips:
• Secure your garage. Garages can provide intruders with easy access to your home. If you have an automatic garage door opener, make sure you protect the remote control and never leave it visible in your car. Also, be sure to lock the door that leads from your garage to your home. Many people do not lock this door, creating a weak point in their home security.
• Equip your home with strong doors and locks.Exterior doors should be made of steel, other metals or solid wood, which are able to withstand more of an impact than hollow-core doors. Deadbolt locks offer the best protection from picking and prying. Always make sure to lock your doors and windows when you leave home.
• Never hide keys around the exterior of your home. Thieves look in mailboxes, under doormats and above doorways for keys. Do not make it easy for them to get into your home. If you will be out of town on vacation, leave emergency house keys with a trusted friend or neighbor.
• Consider a monitored burglar alarm system. A recent Rutgers University study found that alarm systems are an effective deterrent, making a home less attractive to intruders. Make sure your burglar alarm system includes a loud inside alarm, detectors at all exterior doors and motion sensors. It’s also important to have monitored protection which links your home to a monitoring center where trained professionals can quickly notify first responders. Most insurance companies also offer a discount of up to 20 percent off homeowner’s policies for monitored alarm systems.
• Never let burglars know you are away from home. As you plan for vacation, you may be tempted to post updates on social networking sites, including specific dates and times of your vacation. But criminals have been known to troll these sites for vacant homes and unsuspecting victims. Always keep your vacation plans as private as possible and have a trusted friend or family member collect your mail and check in on your home while you and your family are away.
Fiel said, “As summer starts to heat up, we hope these tips will help you prevent home burglary and protect your possessions before, during and after your vacation.”
Mr Fiel certainly knows his business. It’s your businesses to take responsibility for yourself and your family and make sure your home is safe and secure. It’s not enough to use the old adage “why do I care if my stuff is stolen, insurance will pay for it” because insurance doesn’t reimburse you for the hollow empty feeling of being violated. For many people who are burglarized, they often never want to step foot into their homes again.
Furthermore, in the heat of the summer many burglaries can turn into home invasions if the burglar didn’t know you were home. That’s when things can get violent.
Know your options. Don’t sit back and say “Its cant happen to me”. Sit back and say “American home is broken into about every 15 seconds, mine won’t be one of them.” Enjoy the summer months, relax, have fun and be safe.
Robert Siciliano personal security expert to ADT Home Security Source discussing Home Invasions on Montel. Disclosures.