The number of residential break-ins spikes during the summer months. And while yes, we are fortunate to live in an area where the crime rate is lower than others, like Fresno, theft still happens.
So whether you will be jet setting around the world or going on a weekend getaway this summer, make your home less attractive to thieves with these 10 tips from the California Association of Realtors.
Lock All Points of Entry
According to security company ADT, 40 percent of all burglaries were no-forced entries meaning someone was able to walk, crawl or climb inside the house. Before leaving make sure to lock all windows and doors, including the door leading into the garage.
Set Your Alarm
Homes without an alarm system are three times more likely to be burglarized. Your security company should wire all windows and doors to the alarm system, including the window over the sink and all points of entry on a second floor. Make sure to set your alarm before leaving your house, even if it is just for a quick errand.
Conceal Your Trash
After purchasing a pricey electronic or appliance, break down the empty box and conceal it in a trash can before placing it next to the curb for trash day. Leaving an empty box by the curb will let anyone canvassing the area know about your newest purchase and heighten their curiosity of valuables in the home.
Create the Illusion that Someone is Home
Don’t leave signs of an empty house when going on vacation. Set the lights and radio or television on a timer to give the illusion someone is home. If you are worried about electricity, fluorescent light bulbs reduce electricity use and are environmental friendly.
Prune Back Shrubbery
Cut back any overgrown shrubs and trees around windows and doors. Overgrown foliage provides potential hideouts for burglars waiting to break into the home and a place to hide if something goes wrong. Houses with visible entry points to the street and open yards are less appealing to thieves.
Keeping Up With Appearances
Overflowing mailboxes and piled up newspapers are signs of being on vacation. Mail and newspapers can be stopped while on vacation or hire a house sitter to stop by daily to pick up any mail, newspapers, and any leaflets left on the door.
Bolt Safes Down
Often times, homeowners think valuables are protected if they’re in safes, even if it isn’t bolted down. Burglars will take the unbolted-down safe with them and open it when they aren’t under pressure. If you are worried about valuables on vacation, keep them in a safe deposit box.
Check Your Check-Ins
Avoid announcing your vacation on social media and checking in on geo-tracking apps such as FourSquare.
Put Away Outside Toys
Lock up anything lying around in plain sight. Leaving items like bikes or scooters in your yard can attract thieves to your property who will roll away with your possessions.
Consider hanging privacy curtains or thin curtains on any bare windows. Privacy curtains still allow light in, but make it difficult for peepers to see valuables in the room and if the alarm is set.
Sara Wolters is a Realtor at Realty Concepts, Ltd., in Oakhurst. Have real estate or home related questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org