While homeowners are away, burglars will play
At the same time you're dreaming of getting away from it all on some quiet beach this summer, security experts says thieves are increasingly interested in your home. Property crimes spike every summer for several reasons, including more young people being out of school without supervision. Opportunity, however, is a huge factor as empty homes make for easy targets. In defense of your home, Joby Gray with San Antonio-based Friendly Security says a few simple home security tips will can go a long way.
"It is very important to have automatic lights," says Gray. That's because thieves will be less inclined to invade a home while they think someone's inside. "You can purchase some reasonable priced timers for your lights and then program them to go on an off." He says the most important times are from dusk until dawn.
The idea is to make your home look lived in while your away. "Tell a neighbor you can trust to collect your mail if you have a mailbox on you premises or your newspaper so things don't just pile up," says Gray. Otherwise he says that pill of post will tell the whole world that you're away.
When you're ready to take the security of your home to the next level, Gray says to start with your doors. "A door is only a strong as what it's locked into." Many will give in with a few strong kicks, so he says to "upgrade your door strikes and locks on all of your doors." He says making it just a little more difficult to break in may change a burglar's mind. Gray says a lot of local criminals look for open overhead doors to your garage so he advises homeowners to double check that those are locked.
And then there's the home security system. Gray says smartphones, WI-FI and video feeds make home security systems today unlike anything we've seen before. Now it's more like "full home managment and interactive services." Not only can homeowners monitor video feeds from security cameras, but Gray says the same system will let them do other things like change the temperature from around the world. And if someone does break in, "the alarm goes off and sends a message to our monitoring station. It also sends a real time video clip right to the customer and homeowner via their iPhone or email."