The home is a sanctuary for your family, and there is nothing more unnerving that realizing that your home has been broken into. According to the FBI, there were over 2 million burglaries in 2010 – a decrease of 2 percent when compared to the year before – and although crime is a serious concern, our homes and neighborhoods are safer than ever before – much in part to awareness and the preventative steps we are taking.
Still, summer is a season when homes are burglarize the most. The weather is nice and many families go on vacation. Additionally, because people are in and out of the homes more frequently – for strolls or a quick errand – they often get lax in securing their home.
Here are a few things to remember this summer to keep your home belongings and family safe:
Never allow strangers in your home, even if they look hurt or in distress.
Most contractors, such as HVAC or pool companies, will wear uniforms and/or show up in a company vehicle. If they are a smaller firm where their employees don’t have those items, they will present you with a business card and notify you ahead of time of what to expect when they show up to your home for the pre-scheduled appointment.
When you go for a walk or leave your home for a quick errand, take the time to secure your home. Lock your doors, put your garage door down and close and lock any sliding doors or windows that can easily be entered.
When you leave for vacation, make sure you tell a trusted neighbor. Ask them to pick up your mail, paper and other items that can make an unscrupulous person quickly see that you are away. Put your lights on timers so your homes looks lived in.
Invest in a safe to store valuable items such as jewelry and important documents. You may also want to consider buying one that is flood and fire proof.
One of your homes easiest entry points is the garage. Keep your garage door closed at all times and lock the door that leads from the garage into your home.
Don’t leave ladders and tools unsecured outside. These items can be used to gain access to your home.
Look at your shrubbery around your first-floor windows, and if you don’t have any, you may want to plant a few. They can deter a robber from entering your home – especially if they are thorny.
This summer, relax and enjoy the warm days, but also realize that break-ins can be avoided when you take some precautions. Get more home and neighborhood safety resources by visiting the National Crime Prevention Council’s website.