Summer is not only the prime time for playing on the beach or throwing a barbeque, but it’s also a time when your house is left vulnerable. According to a 2014 study done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, burglary is 11% more common in the summer than the winter. Burglary is something you especially don’t want to worry about while unwinding on vacation, so here are some ways to fortify your home.
How to Protect Your House When You’re Away
- Before taking a vacation, you can enlist the help of neighbors to watch over your home. It helps to have an extra set of eyes watching for suspicious activity, and they might be able to help maintain the appearance you’re at home by cutting the grass or picking up your mail. Alternatively, you can have your mail stopped temporarily.
- When leaving the house, double-check all windows and doors are locked and set your security alarm (if you have one). Setting a timer to turn the lights on and off at appropriate times may help bolster security as well. Don’t hide an extra set of keys in a “secret” place, because burglars will know where to look.
- Finally, refrain from announcing your vacation plans publicly on social media for any potential burglars to see.
How to Dress the Exterior
- Ensure that your home is well-lit, with the front entrance in full view. Keep the shrubs tidy and give the burglar fewer places to hide.
- Outer doors should be metal or solid hardwood, and at least one-and-three-quarters inches thick. Doorframes should be equally strong, with the door fitted securely into the doorframe.
- Deadbolt locks are highly recommended. The cylinder where the key is inserted should be pick-resistant.
- Your house’s address number should be easily visible from the street, should police need to find your home quickly.
How to Strengthen the Interior
- Install home security alarms and notify your alarm company of when you will be away for long periods of time. Loud sounds can discourage burglars from stealing.
- Hide valuables away from plain sight to prevent tempting burglars who might be peeping through the windows. Secure valuables in a safe.
What to Prepare in Case of Theft
- Write your driver’s license number somewhere on your valuables so they can be identified if stolen. Take detailed pictures of items you can’t write on.
- Keep an updated record of your valuables. This record might include model, type, serial number, fair market value, and proof of purchase.
It can be devastating to return to a home that’s been broken into, but it’s possible to dissuade burglars from stealing if it’s not easy for them to do so. It’s clearly in your best interests to protect your home, and you can also receive benefits from your insurance company by installing security measures. Ask your insurance representative if you are eligible for certain discounts.