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04 Apr

How to Protect Yourself from Intruders

The temperatures are getting warmer and the school year is coming to a close, which, for a lot of Americans, means only one thing—vacation.  But this is also the time of year that home break-ins increase as more and more people are away from their homes for extended periods of time, making them easy targets of burglars and thieves.  Here are the top five things that you can do to protect yourself and make sure that these thieves move on to the next target and leave you alone.

  • Your home is only as secure as its weakest link, and for many homes that’s the garage.  Be consistent about locking any utility doors from the garage, as well as the door into your home from the garage.  Also, if you park a car in the driveway, be sure to remove your garage door opener- or at least keep it out of sight.
  • Invest in Security Doors and Windows—Another big deterrent to thieves is security doors and windows that provide an extra layer of protection for your home.  A thief is probably not going to spend a long time trying to get through a gated door or barred window when they can move on to easier pickings in another, less secure neighborhood.  Remember, your job is not to catch the thieves, just to make your house as uninviting to them as possible.
  • Don’t Advertise Your Absence—This is one of the oldest tips in the book, but it still stands true.  Don’t let the thieves know that you are on vacation.  Stop your mail and newspaper delivery by calling the post office and news carrier.  If a thief checks and sees your newspapers or mail piling up, it’s a good sign that you are not home.  Also, leave on a few interior lights to make it seem as if someone is present.  Finally, in today’s digital age, everyone seems to post their vacation plans to Facebook and Twitter.  Remember that thieves can sometimes see these posts and learn when you will be gone.  If you want to share your trip with the world, wait until you are home and show off the vacation photos.
  • Keep Your Yard Trimmed—Another deterrent to a thief is a well-maintained yard.  Thieves want easy access to your house, so they will look for homes that have tall bushes and shrubs that provide ground cover from the road so that they can work in relative peace.  By keeping these trimmed, you will ensure that you are less of an easy target.
  • Hide Your Valuables—When a thief enters your home, he or she is looking for easy grab items that are highly profitable.  This usually includes electronics and jewelry.  Keep these items hidden in unusual places (the kitchen or bathroom) or in a fireproof safe.  Even if they gain access to your home, it is best that you not make it easy for them to find your expensive items.  Also, don’t advertise large purchases like computers or laptops by putting the box at the road well in advance of trash pick-up.

No one wants to go off on vacation only to come home to a ransacked house.  That is why it is important to safeguard yourself and your family.  These are five quick and easy ways that you can protect your home and make it less of a target for thieves.