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Home Security Spotlight

Home security experts agree on one thing – burglars cruise around and look for homes that appear easiest to break into and escape from quickly. YourBestDigs.com says that 88 percent of burglaries are in residential areas and a break-in occurs somewhere in the U.S. every 22.6 seconds. 

Break-ins are the most feared property crime, yet nearly a quarter of U.S. homes don’t have a home security system, says Safewise.com. It’s time to make your home more secure. The more barriers that intruders notice about your home, the less likely they’ll be to invade your home and rob you. 

Lights! – Nothing says nobody’s home like a dark house. This is where landscape lighting is a useful deterrent. Don’t give intruders any places in your yard to hide so be sure to install lights on trees. Make your lights come on at dusk and light up entries front and back. Motion detectors work well, too. If you’re away from the house, attach timed devices to one or two lamps that periodically turn on and off. 

Cameras! – Cameras placed around the perimeter of your home should be visible from the street so that anyone cruising by can see them. You may have noticed on the Internet that cameras are also useful in crime-solving as well as prevention, so security cameras protect your neighbors, too.  

Actions! - A security system is expensive, but it’s a good idea, especially when you put the provider’s sign prominently in your front yard. A vigilant barking dog, regardless of its size, can hear and smell intruders before they enter your home. Install prickly bushes under windows and keep them trimmed to discourage window break-ins. 

Burglars look for signs you’re gone, such as lights that stay on during the day and a buildup of mail and advertising flyers on doorknobs. Ask your neighbor to pick up your mail and keep the doorway clear of flyers while you’re gone for the weekend or on holiday. Offer to do the same when they take a vacation. 

You can also go to your local post office and request that your mail be held while you’re gone. And if you’re still taking a newspaper, make sure you call the paper and drop service while you’re gone. 

In this age of oversharing, don’t advertise on social media that you’re leaving your home for any length of time, not even a doctor’s appointment. And while you’re on vacation at the beach or skiing the mountains, stay off Facebook, twitter and Instagram. Instead post your photos and comments after you return home.   

Last but not least, burglars also take note of trash, so don’t let your receptacles overflow with birthday or holiday gift debris like empty electronics boxes and shopping bags from expensive stores. 

It’s estimated that three out of four homes will be broken into in the next 20 years, but your home doesn’t have to be one of them.