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A burglary occurs every 14.5 seconds

Home Security Tips

A burglary occurs every 14.5 seconds, one quarter of all home burglaries occur during the winter months and they rise by 67% over the extended holiday period in December and January.1 Burglary rates are also higher during the summer vacation season.

Make sure you protect your home, property and family from criminals throughout the year with these home security tips.

General Home Security Tips

  • It may seem obvious but ALWAYS arm or set your alarm system before you leave the house.
  • Security systems with home automation features let you control and monitor devices from your cellphone, tablet or mobile device, helping you make an empty home appear occupied by setting daily schedules for lights, TV and more to switch on and off.
  • Burglars don't like light. Replace outside perimeter lights with inexpensive and readily available motion-activated lamps and place timers on a few inside lights to make it appear you're home when you're not.
  • Trim shrubbery near windows and doors to eliminate hiding places for burglars.
  • If you're not at home or traveling for any period of time, plan package deliveries to either arrive when someone is at home to receive it or address the packages to be delivered to your work. With the increase of online shopping, minimize any packages that could sit outside your home that could draw attention to burglars.
  • Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets are great for letting folks know exactly where you are at any point in time. But, burglars may be able to see this information as well if your social media settings are not set to private as well as you may think. Be careful and think about posting on social media when you're away from home, for short or long periods of time.
  • Piles of mail are an invitation to burglars
  • Stop newspaper and mail delivery while you are away. Piles of mail or newspapers are an open invitation to burglars who can tell you are not home.
  • Don't leave a purse, wallet or laptop on the counters that can be seen from a window. This may trigger a forced entry.
  • Avoid leaving tools or ladders outside that could be easily stolen or re-purposed to aid a burglar break into your home.
  • Security signs without corresponding security company stickers on the windows, may lead a passing burglar to believe that you don't really have an alarm system.
  • Do not put your family name on your mailbox or on your house. Burglars can call directory assistance and call your house from right outside to confirm if you're away.
  • When traveling put office addresses and cell phone numbers on luggage tags or any baggage handler thief will know that you're not home.
  • Remove all address information from parked cars at the airport - anyone breaking into your car could find out you're not home and may gain access to your address and garage door opener.

Holiday Season Security Tips

  • If you have a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, with lots of gifts under it, that's clearly visible through a window it's a tempting invitation for burglars. Consider placing a tree with gifts in a less conspicuous location that you can still enjoy while at home.
  • A driveway or pathway of undisturbed snow lasting more than a day is a clear indication that no-one is home. Ask neighbors to leave footprints or tracks if you are away for more than a few days and to repeat it if more snow falls.
  • Break down and use trash bags to dispose of boxes that could indicate what type of gifts you received over the holiday season or purchased in New Year sales to reduce the risk of criminals finding out what new electronic items may be inside your home.
  • A pathway of undisturbed snow is an indication no one is home
  • A lot of people have gatherings or parties at home over the holidays and may leave doors unlocked for easier guest access but a holiday gathering is just the kind of distraction a burglar may look for as a diversion to access your home. An unlocked door makes it even easier for a burglar. It might seem unfriendly or inconvenient, but always have guests ring a bell or knock to enter and lock your door after inviting guests into your home.
  • If you have a home security system, always keep the security monitoring and any wireless surveillance cameras activated and somewhat visible when having a holiday get together. This way you, or someone else, may notice someone trying to access your property while you may be otherwise distracted.
  • Holiday get togethers, or home parties in general, are a big draw for any burglar because of items that may be available to steal, like jewelry, cash, wallets, etc. Make sure that you check or replace all looks in common burglar access areas like the garage, attic windows with easy access or windows/doors in quieter areas of your home.

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1Source: FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)

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