It seems as if high-tech identity theft is always in the news, but that doesn't mean old-fashioned, low-tech home break-ins have disappeared. In fact, according to the FBI
there are over 2 million burglaries in the U.S. every year and approximately three-quarters of those are break-ins of residential properties, with an average property loss of over two thousand dollars. With the majority of burglaries
occurring during the day when people are at work, most are crimes of opportunity-a thief is not targeting a specific individual but looking for the easiest target. So how do you protect your home? Follow these home security tips and tricks to help stay secure:
- Protect doors and windows. Imagine yourself as a burglar and think of how easy or difficult it would be to break into your home. If you were locked out of your house, would you be able to get in? Take a walk around your home and look for areas of entry that could be easy access for burglars. In addition, change your locks when you move into a new house and any time you lose a key. And never hide a key in an obvious outdoor location (like under your doormat) or have your name or address on your key ring.
- Let there be light. When you're away from home, leave some lights on that can be seen from the street. If you're going to be away for an extended time, use timers that turn on and off intermittently. Lights that stay on and don't change can actually be a signal to burglars that no one is home. A timer can create just enough uncertainty that a thief will look for an easier target.
- Secure the outside of your home. Install drapes or blinds on all lower level windows and doors so that would-be thieves can't see inside to assess expensive items like computers and televisions; however, don't obscure doors and windows completely with heavy trees and shrubs. They'll simply provide good cover for someone breaking in. Make sure your home is well lit from the outside too since motion sensor lights are especially good for theft-prevention and will discourage anyone from sneaking in for a closer look.
- Keep your plans private. You may be looking forward to your upcoming vacation, but wait until you're back to share your plans publicly. It's okay to share with your close friends and family that you'll be out of town, but talking to your carpet installer, hairdresser, or even supermarket checkout clerk could be dangerous since some thieves rely on informants for tips on people who will be out of town. For the same reasons, you should also resist the urge to post exactly when you're planning to be gone all over Facebook or other social media sites. Avoid changing your voicemail message to indicate you're away, and while you're gone, have someone check on your house to collect mail, packages, and newspapers so the house appears occupied.
- Consider installing a home security system. According to the Electronic Security Association, 9 out of 10 convicted burglars say they would avoid a home with a security system. And modern security systems actually offer much more than just security. Many systems, now have remote access capabilities, allowing you to arm and disarm your system, turn lights on and off and even check your security camera monitors right from your smartphone. And having a wireless home security or home automation system that functions via cellular signal means there are no wires outside your house for burglars to cut before attempting a break in.
Liberty Mutual offers valuable insurance discounts for customers who have a home security system installed. As a result of a strategic partnership designed to help people live safer, more secure lives, Vivint, a leading home security and home automation services company in North America, now offers Liberty Mutual customers:
- Free installation on any security, energy management, or home automation package
- Free photoelectric smoke detector ($120 value)
- A $100 Visa gift card
- Lifetime warranty and service guarantee
- Award winning customer service
- Remote access from smart phone or internet enabled device
To learn more or to redeem this offer, give Vivint a call at 855-280-2743
or visit vivint.com/libertymutual
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