Most of us relish the relaxed pace summer provides and eagerly anticipate spending time away from home with family and friends. However, failing to adequately prepare your home and property for your absence can make you a potential target for burglars.
According to Delta County Sheriff Gary Ballweg, each year there are more than 1.4 million residential burglaries, with the majority occurring in the peak vacation months of July and August. The average dollar loss per burglary is more than $1,700, not including any permanent increase to your homeowners or renter's insurance. So it just makes sense to invest a little time and money to burglarproof your home. The best way to do this is to make it appear as if you are home, leaving absolutely no clue you're away.
Here are some easy and inexpensive tips from Ballweg says will to help you:
- Ask someone you know and trust to keep an eye on your house, stop delivery of your mail and newspapers or have a friend or neighbor pick them up for you
- Keep bushes and shrubs near your home's entrance and walkway well trimmed, overgrown shrubs provide easy camouflage for burglars.
- Use timers on lights, televisions and radios to provide sound and illuminate the inside of your house, keep the outside of your home well lit, burglars won't go where they can be seen.
- Arrange to have your lawn mowed, ask a neighbor to park in your driveway, occasionally moving his or her car so that it will appear someone is coming and going, leave the air conditioner on, a silent compressor on a hot day is a good indication you aren't home.
- If you have a home phone change the setting on your answering machine so that it picks up on the first or second ring and make sure your outgoing message doesn't state you're away on vacation. If you don't have an answering machine or voice mail make sure you turn the ringer down, a constantly unanswered ringing phone is a huge sign you are away.
- Don't forget to lock your doors and windows - 32 percent of burglars enter homes through unlocked access points. Pay special attention to doors leading to your home from your garage. It's a lot easier to break into your garage then you think.