It's summer, and that means it is time to step up home security and think through your home protection strategy. The summer months are a prime time for burglaries, because people are away from their homes more frequently.

According to Aviva insurance, break-ins increase in June, July and August: 13%, 20% and 31% respectively. That is a significant jump, but you do not have to be one of the statistics.

Being intentional about home security while you are away will make a big difference in your protection and cause the criminals to pass by your home.

A vacation checklist is the perfect solution.

Below are several measures you can take to deter burglars. Implementing as many as possible will decrease the odds of your home being the subject of the next police report.

Of course, one of the best deterrents is to protect your home with a security system. Nine out of ten convicted felons say they would avoid any home protected by an alarm system. But let's also look at some other ideas.

This first list consists of ways to make it less obvious that you are away. A home that is obviously occupied is less likely to be invaded:

Mail Delivery: Rather than having your mail stopped, ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up your mail each day. When you alert your post office that you are going to be away, you are informing several strangers of your absence.
Intelligent Timers: Criminals are savvy about timers on lights and televisions; they watch for patterns and determine that home owners are away. Consider purchasing more advanced times that can be programmed for different times each day to keep any burglars watching your home guessing.
Telephone Ringers: Turn the ringer on your telephone down so that repeated ringing cannot be heard from outside.
Lawn Care: Arrange to have lawn care continue while you are away, giving the appearance of continued activity at your home.
Car Positioning: If you leave a car in your driveway, ask a neighbor to move it to a different position occasionally.
Lighting: Be sure to light all entry areas to your home, and install motion detectors. Trash Pick-up: Ask a friend to set out your trash on pick-up day.
House Sitting: Consider having someone come by your home and stay for a few hours a day or even for the entire time you are away
This second list consists of strategies to make breaking into your home so much of a hassle that the criminals pass on by. Think of frustrating the criminal as a home security system!

Sliding Windows and Doors: Place a stick into the slider area of doors and windows, but cut it two inches shorter than the space allows. This way when the thief lifts the window, the alarm will still trip, but the criminal will be unable to get his arm into the space.
Ladders, tree limbs and other large objects: Remove tree limbs, ladders, large trash cans and other objects that burglars may use to scale fences or access upper story windows.
Laminated Glass: Consider putting laminated glass into doors and windows that burglars are most likely to access. This glass resists shattering and will be a hassle to get through.
Glass Break Sensors: To trip your alarm as early as possible in the break-in process, use acoustic or shock sensing alarms to detect the breaking of glass.
Gate Locks: Lock all gates with padlocks. A thief will have to scale the fence going in and coming out, which is a lot of trouble, especially considering that he will have to scale the fence on exit carrying whatever he has stolen!
And finally, in the event the thief does invade your home, here are some tips to make it as painless as possible for you the home owner:

Computers and other electronics: Back up data and then put electronics in areas that are hard to find.
Valuables: Remove valuables such as cash, jewelry, medications, and other valuables from the master bedroom. Removing these objects from the home is an even better solution.
Large Objects: Consider bolting large objects such as safes and mounted televisions to the floors and walls. The longer it takes for the thief to get what he wants, the better.
Security system: Adjust the home invasion alarm to sound immediately upon entry while you are away.
This summer, your home does not have to be one of the statistics. Be intentional about protecting your home while you are on vacation. It will put your mind at ease and cause frustration for the would-be thieves.

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