Did you know that the summer vacation months of June, July and August are the most common time for home burglaries?
According to FBI statistics, most neighborhoods will experience an amazing 10 percent to 18 percent increase in residential burglaries during these summer months.
While you are enjoying your hard-earned and deserved vacation, what steps can you take to help lessen the risk of your home being burglarized?
Here are some top-notch, home-burglary prevention ideas from the Burglary Prevention Council:
1 — Keep all doors and windows closed and securely fastened. Thieves are quick to spot weak locks that may be easily forced open.
Quick Security Tip: Doors should have deadbolt locks with at least a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate with three-inch screws. All windows should have the proper window locks.
2 — Properly secure sliding-glass doors. This will help prevent burglars from forcing the door open or lifting it off the track.
3 — Always lock the door to an attached garage.
Quick Security Tip: Do not rely on your automatic garage door for security.
4 — Create the illusion that you are at home by using timers on lights, radios, and TVs.
5 — Keep the perimeter of your home well lighted.
Quick Security Tip: Installing low-voltage outdoor lighting is a cost-effective way to discourage intruders, as well as highlight a house.
6 — Never leave clues that you are away on a trip. Have a trusted neighbor collect mail and newspapers while you are away, so delivered items do not accumulate.
Quick Security Tip: You can also ask a trusted neighbor to park in your driveway or parking place to make it appear you are present.
7 — Keep some shades and blinds up and curtains open to maintain a normal, everyday appearance in your residence.
8 — Never leave a message on your telephone answering machine that you are away from home.
Quick Security Tip: A message that you will return at a certain time leaves your home vulnerable in the interim.
9 — Keep shrubbery trimmed away from entrances and walkways.
Quick Security Tip: Large hedges and bushes may provide a hiding place for burglars who need only a minute to break through a window or door.
10 — Organize a community watch program to protect your neighborhood.
Quick Security Tip: An alert community is a safe community.
For more details, please go to the Burglary Prevention Council’s website: www.burglaryprevention.org.
My Final Thoughts: It’s too easy to let your guard down while you and your family are enjoying your summer vacation.
Think about this: Burglars break into a home every 11 seconds, with an estimated 2,300,000 residential burglaries annually in the United States — so, please, take all the reasonable and appropriate steps to help make the burglar’s job as troublesome as possible — even during your summer vacation.
Copyright 2009 by Bruce Mandelblit
Bruce (Mandelblit.com) is a nationally known security and safety journalist, as well as a recently retired, highly decorated reserve law enforcement officer. His email address is: CrimePrevention123@yahoo.com.
This column is provided for general information purposes only. Please check with your local law enforcement agency and legal professional for information specific to you and your jurisdiction.