While summertime is best spent enjoying the warm weather with family, sadly, it is also prime time for home burglaries to occur. In the United States, a home is burglarized every 13 seconds, with most thefts taking place during the day when people are not expected to be at home. From June to August, homes are broken into through a front door, a back window, or garage door in less than a minute. Burglars then take approximately 8 to 10 minutes to grab as many of your valuable possessions as they can, mainly from the living room and bedrooms. On average, homeowners lose about $3,000 worth of items, including objects of sentimental value, which are rarely returned. While we can’t predict burglaries, we can all take steps to make sure our home is secure.
Create a habit of frequently inspecting your entire home and identifying areas where burglars could easily access your home. There are many ways to make your home unappealing for burglars:
- Protect the exterior of your home by keeping your landscape trimmed. Cut back any trees or shrubs to avoid creating hiding spots for burglars and consider adding shrubs around the perimeter of your property to make it difficult for anyone to trespass or look in.
- If you must keep a spare key for your home, do so in a secure lockbox. Never leave your house key hidden by your front door.
- Install motion-sensor lights by your front door, garage, and back door. Make sure these are maintained, especially before a trip.
- If you plan on being out of town, make sure to let a trusted neighbor or friend know and ask that they check in on your property while you’re away.
It’s just as important to protect the valuables inside your home. Stay one step ahead of burglars:
- Keep your valuables like TVs and other electronics away from your windows and, if possible, mount your TV to the wall to make it harder to remove. Game consoles, laptops, cell phones are all easy to grab, make sure these are stored away after each use.
- In your bedroom, keep your jewelry, cash, checks, and other personal documents safely stored in an unlikely place such as the linen closet or under the bathroom sink.
- You might think your mail wouldn’t be worth the trouble stealing, but your personal information is. Make sure mail such as credit card offers or bank account statements aren’t left lying around. Make a habit of shredding any mail no longer in use with personal information.
Along with the financial loss of a burglary, homeowners also lose their sense of safety at home; everyone should feel safe in their own homes. MCAO encourages you to be proactive in your home’s security and take action now to make sure your home and valuables are protected.
For more tips and to learn more visit, MaricopaCountyAttorney.org/HomeTravelSafety