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A burglary happens every 18.2 seconds in the U.S. That adds up to nearly 200 burglaries per hour, and 4,800 per day! Most of these burglaries happen between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., while people are generally at work. With vacation season upon us, it’s important to make sure your home is as safe as possible from potential break-ins.

  1. Reduce visibility of expensive items in your home. If you’ve just bought a new high-price item, ensure you break down the box and place it in the garbage or recycle bin so it is not clearly visible on your curb. Also, view your house from outside with the curtains open and think about moving any expensive items out of view.

  2. Pretend you’re home – even if you’re not! Burglaries are more likely to occur if no one is home. Create the illusion that someone is still home by leaving a light on and playing music or television while you’re away.

  3. Secure your yard. Burglars can easily hide in tall shrubs and overgrown trees. Keep your yard manicured to eliminate any potential hiding places for criminals.

  4. Ensure sliding doors and windows are secured. Secure sliding glass doors by sliding a strong dowel, a steel bar or a two-by-four into the back groove of the door to ensure burglars cannot pop the door off the frame. Install a simple pin or nail into the frame of your windows to keep them from raising more than a few inches. Make sure to add a stopper to any window frame with an air conditioning unit.

  5. Don’t leave a spare key out where it could be found. Instead of leaving a spare key hidden under a flower pot or doormat, give a spare to a neighbor you trust or a friend who lives nearby. Don’t put any identifying information on your house keys.

  6. Prepare before vacation. Let any trustworthy neighbors know about your trip and ask them to keep an eye on your property while you’re away. Don’t leave signs of an empty house by avoiding piled up mail and newspapers, overgrown lawns, and stationary garbage cans. Have a house-sitter or friend park a car in your driveway. Don’t announce your vacation on social media.

  7. Lock up before you leave! More than 40 percent of break-ins happen without the use of force, which means many people leave their homes without locking the doors and windows.

*Information courtesy of Foremost Insurance Group