6 Tips to Prevent Home Burglaries This Summer
SmartCam, Hedge App, Home Protection & Security, Home Tips
Published: June 17, 2021
Would you guess that cases of home burglaries rise with the temperature? It's true — break-ins are most common in the summer months, spiking ten percent in June, July, and August as people spend more time away from home (vacations, cookouts, pool time!) or simply leave windows and doors open to enjoy the weather.
Fortunately, there are simple and cost-effective ways to protect your home from would-be burglars, whether you plan to spend the upcoming months making up for lost travel time, or enjoying yourself at home with friends and family. Start by following these simple precautions for a safe and secure summer.
#1: Make sure your home's exterior is well-lit and remove easy "hiding spots"
Shine a light on your home. Exterior lights out of easy reach can deter burglars by removing the cover of darkness. Would-be intruders will have a harder time breaking in through your front door in the spotlight of your porch light.
On a similar note, remove the cover of overgrown trees and shrubs near doors and windows by keeping them well-trimmed. Although they provide a nice sense of privacy, they can also make a good hiding place for burglars.
#2: Keep your valuables out of plain sight
You might be inclined to show off your nice new purchase, but it's best to keep expensive items out of plain sight to avoid tempting opportunistic burglars. Do this instead:
Arrange your home or use blinds and window coverings strategically so that expensive items — like high-end electronics — aren't visible from the street.
Keep your garage door closed even while you're home — especially if it's where you store expensive tools.
Recently bought a new TV? Think twice before you toss the packaging of any expensive item in the recycle bin; break down the boxes first and, if possible, strip off any identifying labels to avoid announcing your new purchase to anyone who happens to walk by.
#3: Secure your home's doors and windows
Research shows that if it takes more than four or five minutes to break into a home, the burglar will go elsewhere. Make it more difficult to break into your home by securing key entry points:
Outside doors and doorframes should be strong — made of metal or hardwood and at least one-and-three-quarters inches thick, advises the Insurance Information Institute. For added security, consider investing in deadbolt locks. Finally, avoid "hiding" a spare key near the front door (burglars know where to look!).
First-floor windows are also appealing to burglars and should be secured; consider adding key locks, which are available for all types of windows.
Another safety tip? Change the locks when you move into a new home. (Even if the previous homeowner is reputable, you never know who had an extra key or copies made!)
Lastly — remember that most burglaries happen during the day, when people aren't home. So make sure you check that your doors and windows are closed and locked — and that any home protection system you might have is activated — before you leave, even if you'll only be gone for a few minutes.
#4 Get to know your neighbors
This tip isn't only helpful for home safety and security… it's also good for your mental health! Taking the time to introduce yourself and establish a friendly rapport with your neighbors not only lifts your mood — it also creates a stronger community.
When neighbors look out for each other — paying attention to people or activity that seems suspicious — they create a difficult environment for potential burglars to strike.
#5 Vacation-bound? Avoid broadcasting your travel plans.
It's natural to want to share your upcoming vacation plans with others — but make sure you only tell people you know and trust that you're going away, and be aware of your surroundings when you do it: avoid loudly announcing your upcoming departure in a crowded place where anyone can overhear.
And no matter how tempting — do not broadcast your upcoming vacation on social media. You'll have very little control over who actually sees your post. And to the wrong person, "I can't wait for Mexico on Monday!" reads "My house will be empty starting Monday (do with it what you will)."
On that note — be careful about posting on social media while you're on vacation, too. While it can be fun to post pictures in the moment, wait until you're home from your trip to be safe.
#6 Make it appear as if you're home — even if you're out of town
Give your home a lived-in look… even if you've been gone for weeks. Start with these tips:
Before you go on vacation — especially if it's a longer trip — place a hold on your mail. Mail left piling up in your mailbox or on your front porch is a clear indicator that you're not home. (Another option: ask a friend or neighbor to pick up your mail every few days for you.)
Arrange to have your lawn mowed — especially if you'll be gone for more than a week. Like piles of mail, overgrown grass in front of an empty home signals "out of town."
Hook up indoor lights (or even your television) to an automatic timer, so that they turn on and off at a set time each day.
The same goes for outdoor lights: put them on a timer or use motion-activated sensors to turn them on and off.
This year, don't let your home be an easy target for opportunistic burglars. Follow these simple, cost-effective security tips to protect yourself, your family, and your belongings all summer long.