Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe

Texas summers are something the majority of us look forward to every year. While the months June, July and August indicate to us a time for vacation and camping trips, it also is the time of year that burglars thrive. Unfortunately many homeowners get caught up in the excitement of their upcoming vacation plans and forget the simple procedures needed to keep their homes safe. According to FBI statistics, communities across the country will experience a 10 to 18 percent spike in home burglaries during the three summer months. Believe it or not, approximately 28 percent of burglaries are made without force, meaning that either a door or window was left unlocked. In order to ensure the safety of our clients, our team of Austin mortgage professionals has developed a list of 12 ways to keep your home safe.

The average amount of money lost in a burglary is $1,300. Before heading out on your summer vacation, read our list of 12 ways to burglarproof your home in order to prevent your home from being one the 1.2 million that are broken into every year.

1.) Make sure no valuables are visible from the street.

Take five minutes to walk into the street and examine your house. If any valuables, such as expensive electronics, artwork, etc. is visible from the street either cover your windows or move the objects. If you can easily spot your valuable belongings from the street, so can a criminal.

2.) Ensure that all windows and doors are securely locked and fastened.

Make sure every door has a deadbolt lock and that it is turned into the locked position.

3.) Secure all sliding glass doors.

Sliding glass doors can easily be forced open and intruders are aware of this. Place a metal rod or piece
of plywood in the track of the sliding door to prevent an intruder from jamming it open.

4.) If you have an attached garage, always lock the garage door when you leave your home.

5.) Make it look as if you are home at all times.

If leaving your home for a long period of time (i.e. a weeklong vacation), set timers for lamps, radios,
TVs, etc. A light on signifies someone is home and serves as an immediate red flag for a burglar.

6.) Keep the outside of your home well-lit.

Burglars choose homes in which they can easily enter without being noticed. Good lighting gets them
noticed, hence the reason most burglars choose to rob homes at night. Also, having the outside of your
home lit makes it easy for neighbors to spot an intruder.

7.) Never leave clues that indicate you are away.

Always ask a friend or a neighbor to collect your mail and newspapers or call your local post office and
have them hold it until you return. Leave a car parked in the drive-way during the duration of your
trip. If all cars will be gone from the house, check with a neighbor to see if they wouldn’t mind parking
their car in your drive-way.

8.) While it is important to make sure no valuables are visible from the street, don’t make the
cover-up obvious.

If you normally have shades up and curtains open, keep them that way. You want your house to look as
normal as possible.

9.) Rule of thumb: Never leave a message on your answering machine stating that you will be
out of town.

10.) Keep your shrubbery and bushes trimmed around the outside of your home.

This eliminates burglar hide-out areas.

11.) Organize or join a community watch program to protect your neighborhood.

A community watch organization generally takes up very little time, but serves as a great way to keep
everyone in the area safe and knowledgeable about their surroundings.

12.) If you have a home security system, use it!

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