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Home Security Tips

by Jill Santandrea, Broker Manager, EXIT Homestead Realty Professionals

Today’s world is a scary place—with people trying to take things you have worked hard to obtain. In the U.S., a burglary occurs every 22 seconds, so it’s important to take measures to keep your home—and belongings—secure. Here’s the rundown:

• Most break-ins happen during the day, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

• The majority of burglars gain access through an unlocked door or window.

• Homes without a security system are three times more likely to be burglarized.

• A burglary generally lasts 10 minutes.

• Burglars generally strike within a two-mile radius of their own homes and may even be someone you know.

While no home is burglar-proof, there are some fairly easy and common-sense measures you can take to make your home a less appealing target for intruders. Here are five ways to keep the Bogeyman at bay:

• Lock Up: If you tend to forget to lock the house when you leave, invest in a smart lock that automatically locks your door after a designated period of time, or lets you manually lock it from an app. For windows, install window stops, which allow the window to open only a few inches—not enough space for a crook to squeeze through if you forget to latch them. Don’t hide a spare key under the rug. Criminals know to look there.

• Light Things Up: Even though most break-ins occur during the day, you can’t rule out nighttime as a possibility. Install motion-sensor lighting around the front, back and sides of your home to leave no chance for bad guys to hide in the shadows.

• Get a Security System: Thieves are less likely to break in if there’s a security system in place. The options for home security systems are growing and becoming increasingly affordable, and many can be monitored right from your smartphone. Alarms, hall and window sensors and security cameras. If you want surveillance but not a full-blown alarm system, install a video doorbell. Can’t afford a security system? Put a security company’s decal on your window or sign in your yard. Impressions go a long way.

• Use Landscaping Wisely: Minimize temptation and keep bushes and hedges trimmed to no more than three feet tall, or place thorny plants (like rose or barberry bushes) underneath windows as a deterrent.

• Befriend the Neighbors: There are many reasons you should get to know your neighbors and home security is one of them. A good neighbor can help keep an eye on things while you’re away, and vice versa. Consider joining your neighborhood watch program and connect with residents who are on the lookout for suspicious activity.

Stay aware, stay safe. Until next week…