Home Safety Tips for Summer Vacation

When it comes to keeping your home safe, burglary is your
biggest risk. According to the FBI, a burglary occurs somewhere in the United
States every 15.4 seconds. The majority of home and apartment burglaries occur
during the daytime when most people are away at work or school. The summer
months of July and August see the peak of home burglaries with more people away
for summer vacation. Seventy percent of burglars use some amount force to enter
a home, but their preference is to gain easy access through an open door or
window. As a deterrent, place highly visible decals on glass doors and windows
near the latch mechanism that indicates that an alarm system, a dog, or block
watch/operation identification system is in place.

Home burglar’s typically target homes to burgle that are
unoccupied, and come with the easiest possible access and escape routes. Burglars
will also look for spots with plenty of cover. Use these home safety tips to
help decrease your chances of a break-in.

Home Safety Tips for Summer Vacation

Doors and Locks

Most burglars enter homes by the front, back, or garage
doors. Typically the garage is the weakest point of entry, followed by the back
door. Doors with flimsy strike plates are more susceptible to being kicked in. Do
not leave valuables or keys inside your car even when it’s inside of your
garage as burglars will often look there once they have broken into the garage.

?? Use high quality Grade-1 or Grade-2 locks on
exterior doors

?? Purchase solid core or metal doors for all
entrance points

?? Use a quality, heavy-duty, deadbolt lock with a
one-inch throw bolt

?? Use a quality, heavy-duty, knob-in-lock set with
a dead-latch mechanism

?? Use a heavy-duty, four-screw, strike plate with
3-inch screws to penetrate into a wooden door frame

?? Use a wide-angle 160?? peephole mounted no higher
than 58 inches

Sliding-Glass Patio Doors

Sliding glass doors are not as secure as regular doors
because they are secured by latches not locks. Your best defense here is to
insert a wooden dowel or stick into the track, which limits movement on the
door. There are other blocking devices
available such as metal fold-down pieces called "charley bars" and
various track-blockers that can be screwed down. To prevent your glass door
from being lifted off, keep the latch mechanism and door rollers in good working
condition and install anti-lift devices such as through-the-door pins or upper
track screws.

Windows

Especially during the warm summer months, it is common that
windows will be left open and unlocked. An open window visible from the road or
a nearby pathway can make your home a target, particularly if it is on the
ground floor. Upper floor windows can also attract activity if they can be
accessed from a stairway, tree, fence, or by climbing on balconies. Since windows
have latches instead of locks, secondary blocking devices should be used to
prevent sliding them open from the outside. Inexpensive wooden dowels and
sticks work well for horizontal sliding windows and through-the-frame pins work
well for vertical sliding windows. If you need ventilation, keep the opening to
six inches and make sure that the dowel can’t be reached from the outside. Anti-lift
devices are a good idea for ground level and accessible aluminum windows that
slide horizontally.

Look out for your neighbors

Get to know the neighbors on either side of you and the three
directly across the street; invite them into your home and establish trust. Ask
your neighbors to watch for unusual activity around your house while you are
away and do small tasks to help keep up the appearance that you are home. Neighbors
can report suspicious activity to the police and help to continue regular
household activities such as mowing the lawn and picking up the mail. They may also park in your driveway to give
the appearance that someone is home. A trusted neighbor should be given a key
to your home to avoid leaving a key under the mat or above a ledge. Do the same
for your neighbors.

Lighting

A dark home several nights in a row indicates you are away.
Set light timers near front and back windows to match your usual light usage
while you are away; it is not a bad idea to use light timers on a daily basis.
When you set a light routine your neighbors may become accustomed to your
pattern which means that they could become suspicious when the light usage is
different than normal. You can also use
light timers to turn radios and televisions off and on.

Exterior lighting can be a deterrent to a burglar trying to
break into your home. Install lights that are bright enough to see 100-feet. Important
areas to light are the front and back doors, the garage door, and along the
pathways and the perimeter of your home. Do not leave your outdoor lights on
all day as it is an indication that you are away. Security lights with
infra-red or heat sensors are a good safety tool and can be used instead of regular
porch or other outdoor lights.

Alarm Systems

Alarm systems are an effective tool in preventing home
break-ins if they are used properly. The more homes with an alarm system in a neighborhood
the bigger the deterrent because burglars know that they increase the chances
that they will be caught. The deterrent comes from placing the alarm company
lawn sign in your yard and from the alarm decals on the windows.

?? Never write your alarm pass code on or near the
alarm keypad

?? Ensure your alarm is properly installed and
maintained

?? Purchase an alarm that will also monitor for
fire

?? Purchase an alarm with a loud horn or bell but
that resets after two minutes

Make sure your alarm response call list is up to date and instruct
your neighbor on how to respond to an alarm bell.

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have
enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident
attorney
fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon
to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times
bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in
Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing
residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County
since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we
recover damages for you!

Home burglar’s typically target homes to burgle that are
unoccupied, and come with the easiest possible access and escape routes. Burglars
will also look for spots with plenty of cover. Use these home safety tips to
help decrease your chances of a break-in.

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Michael John Tario

Licensed since 1980

Member at firm Tario & Associates, P.S.

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