Monday, August 8, 2011

NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY: Protect Your House While you Enjoy Summer Vacation

Crime rates across the country can peak as temperatures rise during warm weather months —
the same time that many families leave their homes unoccupied and unprotected.

Try these simple precautions from Florida Realtors® to make your home less of a target for criminals:

No Home Alone
Before leaving your home during the day, make it look as if someone is still at home by using timers on lights in various rooms. Even though daylight hours are longer during the summer, it may still get dark faster than you expect or you may return home later than anticipated, and taking this step ensures that your home appears occupied at all times.

No open door policy
Ensure that all doors leading to the home and garage are locked, even when leaving for a short time. The typical burglary takes less than five minutes, and unlocked doors, combined with an empty home, put out the welcome mat for criminals.
Someone to watch over me

Be landscape smart. Shrubbery and other plants can grow very rapidly during the warm, wet summer months, so keep them trimmed to allow your neighbors to keep an eye on your home. Also, an unkempt yard could be viewed as a sign of an empty home to a burglar
A key reminder
When leaving home, take your house keys along or leave a spare set with a trusted neighbor. Never leave a key under a welcome mat, in a mailbox, or other hiding spots — most burglars know where to look.

Crime doesn’t take a vacation
If you’re planning to be away from home on vacation for more than a day or two, ask a neighbor to park a car in your driveway and pick up your mail and newspapers if you’re not going to cancel the paper and hold the mail. Disable your garage door opener and manually lock it from the inside then check that the door leading from the garage to the home is locked, too.

Source: Florida Realtors®
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