29 May 24 Tips to Help Prepare Your Home for the Summer Break-In Season
It’s summertime and the warm weather is inviting us to air out our houses, sleep with our windows open, spend time at the lake or beach, go on vacation, leave the garage door open for easy bike access…and invite burglars into our homes. That’s right, it’s time to prepare for summer break-in season. In order to see your home the same way a burglar might, step into his shoes and “case” the place. Look for anything about your home that might make it a tempting target for a thief. Then check out these 22 tips to help prepare your home for the summer break-in season.
22 Tips to Help Prepare Your Home for the Summer Break-In Season
Here are some things to keep in mind while you get ready for a great (and safe) summer!
1. See what’s in sight in your home
Open all of your curtains, drapes, and blinds before walking around your entire house. How many high-priced target items are within sight? You may want to move them out of sight of casual observers.
2. Keep bikes out of sight
Don’t leave bikes, lawnmowers, scooters or other temptations lying around in plain sight. In the time it takes you to go inside for a drink, a thief can walk off with them.
3. Be careful with your trash
If you’ve just purchased a new computer, big screen TV, gaming system, sporting goods or other pricey items, don’t dispose of the packaging where a thief might see it. (i.e. Large TV Box by the curb) New, high-priced items are quick to dispose of for a good profit. Find public receptacles where you can dispose of the trash and recyclables.
4. Keep your yard clear
Keep yards free of bricks, heavy rocks, and other items a burglar might use to break a window and gain entry.
5. Prevent access to high windows
Don’t leave out ladders, chairs, or anything else that a thief can use to climb through a high window. Prune any large tree limbs that would offer thieves access to that same window.
6. Lock all openings
7. Don’t give burglars plant cover
Tall, dense plantings provide cover for thieves. Keep shrubs pruned to below the level of the window sill to deprive thieves of that cover. Thorny bushes like roses are even better!
8. Have neighbors house sit while you’re gone
Funerals, weddings, family reunions, or other publicly announced family events are like invitations to burglars. Ask a friend or neighbor to park their car in your driveway and/or house sit while you’re gone.
9. Watch what you post on social media
Be careful of what you and other family members are sharing on social media. Posting vacation plans or even just lamenting about being stuck in traffic can let a thief know when to strike. People love to brag and show others where they are on social media. If you do this, make sure your profile is private so others cant see. Better yet, wait till you get home to post it.
10. Make friends with your neighbors
Make friends with your neighbors – especially any who are home during the day. Your new friends will know it’s not legitimate if they see a moving van pulled up to your house and uniformed people hauling your goods out. Believe it or not, this is a common ruse among thieves!
11. Get automatic timers
Invest in automatic timers for some of the lights in your house (or with ADT Pulse Light Control you can set schedules and control the remotely) and leave a radio playing when you leave. Tuning the radio to a talk show station can make it seem like people are still in the house.
12. Teach your dog not to bark
Get a dog and teach it not to bark. That may seem odd, but no one pays attention to a dog that barks at everything. If your dog is normally quiet, however, everyone in the neighborhood will take notice when it barks.
13. Get motion sensor lights
Install motion sensor lights around the entire perimeter of your house. Thieves look for blind spots – don’t leave them any.
14. Lock your house always
Lock your house when you leave, even if you’re just popping over to the neighbors for a minute or so. That’s plenty of time for someone to enter your home! Most burglars gain entrance through an unlocked door or open window.
15. No notes for family members
Don’t leave notes for family members or anyone else on your door. They might as well be an invitation to a burglar.
14. Frost your windows
Frost your garage windows so thieves can’t tell if your car is inside or not. Always keep the garage door locked.
15. Get peepholes
Install peepholes on every door, including the door between the house and garage.
16. Turn phones down
Turn the phone ringers down when you’re leaving so unanswered rings won’t give your absence away.
17. Stop deliveries before you leave
Stop newspaper and mail deliveries before going away. Ask neighbors to pick up random things like phone books or fliers that are left for you. Also ask them to use your trash and recycling bins. Their absence from the curb on pickup day is a dead giveaway that nobody’s home.
18. Make sure your yard is kept while you’re gone
Have someone you trust mow & trim your yard while you’re gone. Nothing screams “nobody’s home” like an unkempt yard.
19. Secure your sliding windows and doors
Have a heavy pipe or large diameter dowel cut to fit the track of each sliding window or door. They should be the same length as the track.
20. Don’t leave a spare key under your doormat
Leave a spare key with a friend or neighbor rather than under the doormat. If any key is lost, replace the lock immediately!
21. Install deadbolts
Install deadbolts with a minimum 1″ throw on all doors. If there is glass within 40″ of the door, and your local fire codes allow it, install a double cylinder deadbolt lock so a thief can’t just break the glass and reach in to unlock the door.
22. Talk to us about ADT Security
Contact us about installing an ADT Home Security System. Experts agree that burglars don’t like homes with security systems and will choose a less protected target. Studies show you are much less likely to have a break in if crooks know you have a professionally monitored security system.
Now that you’ve taken steps to protect your home, go enjoy your summer – you deserve it!