The summer holiday season is upon us, but with all the planning of where to go, where to stay, what to take and how to get to the airport, some time does need to be spent considering adequate security precautions before you jet or drive off on your holiday. With four out of five burglaries occurring when a house is unoccupied, it is statistically proven that houses are at a greater risk of burglary when the owners are away on holiday or absent for a period of time. However, vulnerability can be reduced by disguising the fact that you are away and making sure your property is secure. A recent article offers seven great home security tips to consider in your holiday planning.
Residential Crime Spikes in the Summer
Burglars are most active in the summer. Why? People are traveling more, door and windows are more likely to be left open or unlocked, and we’re generally a bit more off our guard. Remember, the FBI’s 2010 Uniform Crime Report shows that July and August are the worst months for home break-ins.
The Seven Tips
- Do not post about your vacation on Facebook until after you get back. If that takes more discipline than you can muster, at the very least keep your location status off any public social networking pages. Many burglars use these sites to identify “safe” targets.
- Make your home look lived in. A light on a timer is a great first step. Even better, some alarm companies (such as FrontPoint) provide remote control for lights, in addition to locks and thermostats- all through your alarm system. There are even free mobile apps for these features. The effect is so convincing that your neighbors may later ask if you really went on vacation.
- Don’t leave obvious signs that the house is unoccupied. Stop the mail and paper, or have a neighbor take it in. Arrange for lawn care as needed. And don’t leave notes on the door! (“Dear thieves …”)
- Make your home hard to get into. You need good locks. Your hidden outdoor key is probably not as cleverly hidden as you think it is. So, get to know your neighbors, and leave the key with them. Let them know you will be gone, and have them keep an eye out during your absence. If you have an alarm system, by all means use it. Amazingly, many people forget to set the alarm. Park a car in the driveway, but be sure to take out the garage door opener first.
- Remove obvious temptations. Take a walk around your property and make sure you cannot see any easily pawned valuables through uncovered windows. Are there any ladders left out, or particularly easy or well-concealed access points?
- Prepare for the worst. If your computer were stolen, what might the consequences be? For most of us, this would be dire indeed. So, back up and password protect. Make a quick run-through around the house with a video recorder, listing off the valuables. This could save a lot of hassle with the insurance company if you should need to file a claim. We already know what burglars steal.
- Strike the right balance. Only you can make the trade-off between security measures and the burdens they impose. You may wish to place irreplaceable items in a secure location, such as a fireproof safe. This can include expensive jewelry, family photos, and financial records. Your insurance policy is up to date, right? Also, label your possessions with your name. An engraver is best, but a Sharpie is a lot better than nothing.
FrontPoint is the recognized nationwide leader for combining the most advanced home security and home automation services. Whether it’s cellular monitoring, notifications and remote arming, video features, or using apps to control lights, locks, and thermostats, FrontPoint has the solution. We provide systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat – that’s why FrontPoint is the #1 ranked alarm company in the US. You deserve to enjoy your summer, at home or when you travel, and FrontPoint can help. Here’s to a safe and secure summer, and summer travel!