Consider focusing on the following areas to protect your home and belongings:
- Exterior doors. Inspect the condition and locking mechanisms on exterior doors regularly. Solid wood or steel-wrapped doors with deadbolt locks are best. Does your home have a sliding glass door? Place a strong rod in the bottom channel to prevent the sliding door from opening.
- Locks. Keep all exterior doors locked. Does your home have an attached garage? Always lock the interior door between the garage and house.
- Windows. Periodically examine windows to confirm they close and latch properly. Walk around the exterior of the house to note what passers-by see through your windows. Adjust window coverings and/or belongings to make pricey items less visible.
- Outdoor lighting. Poorly lit areas enable burglars to work undetected. Install motion-sensing security lights to brighten secluded areas.
- Yard. Trim overgrown trees and prune shrubs that create hiding places for criminals. Bicycles, scooters, ATVs, lawn mowers, tools, etc. are attractive theft targets. Keep these items inside a locked garage or shed. Be wary of placing empty boxes near the trash as this may alert thieves to a new television, computer, or other valuable belonging inside.
- Time away from home. Alert a trusted neighbor if you will be gone for an extended time. Have someone pick up your mail, newspapers, and packages. Arrange for the yard to be mowed. Put interior lights on a timer so it appears you are home. Avoid posting vacation plans and activities on social media.