9 Tips to Protect Your Home from a Summertime Burglar

Nationwide, “burglars made off with $4.6 billion in electronics, jewelry, cash and other items in 2008, according to the FBI. In more than 30 percent of those burglaries, the thief got inside without forcing open a door or window. Many occurred during the day.”

As you pack your car for your next road trip, realize someone’s probably watching.  Neighbors often peek their heads through their windows when they see activity. I’m one of those neighbors. I like to see what is going on and I often keep tabs on who is doing what and when. If a neighbor is leaving to travel, I know about it.

I’m not nosy, I’m security conscious. Nosy is when the neighbor asks questions and pokes around your business. Security conscious is when you observe, adopt situational awareness and try to identify if the rolled up rug your neighbor is stuffing in their trunk is just a rug or if that rug has his wife in it.

Burglars use these same observation tactics. They look for signs you are traveling. They look for outside lights on 24 hours a day. They look for dark homes inside at nighttime. They look for no car in the driveway, mail and news papers piled up or uncut grass that’s three weeks overgrown.  And they look to see you packing your car before a trip. A bad neighbor or his bad seed of a kid may be peering through their windows when you pack. That kid may end up in your house hours after you leave.

The Washington Post reports “but police say there are simple steps residents can take to make it less likely their home will be the next target. “Reduce the opportunity,” District Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said. “People don’t just walk down the street and decide ‘I’m going to hit your home today.’ They do some casing. The key, police say, is securing your home and eliminating signs that you are away. Doors and windows should be locked even if you’re only heading to the park or a neighborhood barbecue for a few hours.”

Here are a few tips to help protect the safety of your home while you are on vacation:

  • Pack your car in your garage or late at night under the cover of darkness.
  • Use timers on indoor and outdoor lights.
  • Let a trusted neighbor and the police know you are traveling.
  • Unplug garage door openers.
  • Have a neighbor park their car in your driveway.
  • Have a landscaper mow your lawn.
  • Don’t share yourhttp://www.homesecuritysource.com/Blogs.aspx?TopicName=Travel travel plans on social media or on a voicemail outgoing message.
  • Lock everything of significant value in a safe.
  • Invest in a home security camera system and home security alarm system.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

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