Tis the Season for Improving Home Protection

Summer is here, and for many of us that means going on vacation. Besides installing a security system with professional monitoring to protect your home while you’re away, you can take other precautions that keep your home burglar-proof.

Install deadbolt door locks. The best ones are resistant to being picked, drilled or kicked in. In our experience, the most expensive locks aren’t always the best ones.

Lock your windows. An easy way for a burglar to access your home is through an unlocked window, so make sure your windows are locked, especially ones at street level.

Make your home appear occupied. Set lights to timers so your lights illuminate when darkness falls, giving the impression that people are home. You may also consider leaving items in your yard that make it look like you have a dog. Additionally, you should enlist a trusted neighbor to pick up mail, packages and newspapers delivered (arrange to stop delivery while you’re out of town), as well as “keep an eye on things” while you’re away. Also be sure to arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you’ll be away for more than a week. Nothing says “nobody home” to an intruder more than an untended lawn.

Strengthen weak spots. It’s not enough to have deadbolts on your front and back doors if your basement door or side door is unsecured. It’s best to install deadbolts on those doors, too.

As for garage doors, given the ability of many burglars to hack automatic garage door openers, it’s best if you unplug or otherwise disable your openers while away so they’re inoperable.

The openings between window air conditioners and window frames constitute another weak spot. To fill this gap, consider using a locking metal rod called a Charlie bar to keep the window from moving. This layer of protection prevents the burglar from opening a window and gaining entry to your home. As a result, they’ll be forced to break the glass, which should attract attention from your neighbors and police cruising your neighborhood.

Role play. Before going on vacation, walk around the outside of your home, pretending that you’re a burglar. Pay attention to what you see, and how a burglar could use those objects for prying open a door or window. Bring those “tools” inside so they can’t be used to invade your personal space.

By following these tips, you can enjoy your summer vacation with peace-of-mind.

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