Irving, TX (Vocus) July 10, 2008
Nearly every 15 seconds a burglary is committed in the United States, and the busiest burglar season is summer. So before you pack that suitcase, board the family pet and say goodbye to everyday chores, make sure you’ve planned ways to keep your home and valuables safe. To help with that planning, the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) offers these tips.
The first thing summer travelers should remember is to discourage the thief. Since burglars prefer to break into houses that look unoccupied, it’s a good idea to lower your home’s appeal by making it look like you’re there.
Use timers on lights, radios and televisions to give the appearance that someone is home. Before you leave, ask neighbors to put trash cans out on trash day, pick up your mail and newspaper and even park their car in your driveway. All of which tell a thief that someone may be home, better move on.
If you don’t have a neighbor willing to help, make arrangements to take care of your mail or newspapers with a close friend or simply arrange to stop delivery. And don’t overlook the lawn. Mow your yard before you leave, and if you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, make sure it is taken care of during your vacation.
The second step, deny easy access, involves some basic, but often overlooked, ways to prevent your home from becoming a target. According to industry research, burglars spend no more than 60 seconds breaking into a home, so anything you can do to increase this time may cause intruders to change their mind.
The most basic protection is to lock all doors and windows, and secure the garage door. It is estimated that one-third of all burglars enter through the front door, and most entries of residences occur during the day. So don’t invite the thief into your home. In fact, consider installing deadbolt locks for added security. It is also a good idea to trim your trees and hedges; this gives burglars fewer hiding places. Replace burned-out yard lights, and consider upgrading your outside lights with built-in motion detectors. Anything that makes a thief think twice before selecting your home as a target will add protection.
The third step, manage the risk, involves taking the time to enlist your neighbors, friends or local police in keeping an eye on your property. In addition to letting your neighbors know you are going on vacation, ask them to watch your house.
Tell them how long you will be gone and give them the names or descriptions of anyone that may need access to your house. You should always leave a house key and a number where you can be reached with a trusted individual. For extended vacations, consider a house sitter and telling your local police when you will be away.
The final layer of protection involves being able to detect an intruder. NBFAA recommends investing in a home security system since homes without them are almost three times more likely to be broken into than homes with security systems. Most importantly, NBFAA reminds consumers to activate their systems, especially when on vacation. Crime statistics show that most security systems are turned off in those homes that are burglarized. Finally, make sure that anyone with access to the home knows how to properly operate the system.
Before purchasing a home security system, NBFAA offers consumers ten tips for selecting an installer. Consumers can access the tips and other information on home safety and security at http://www.alarm.org.
NBFAA, a non-profit 501(c) 6 trade association, is the nation's oldest and largest organization dedicated to representing, promoting, and supporting the electronic life safety, security, and systems industry. Member companies specialize in a wide spectrum of services to commercial and residential consumers, including security and fire alarms, video surveillance, access control and monitoring. In cooperation with a federation of state associations, NBFAA provides government advocacy and delivers timely information, professional development tools, products and services that members use to grow and prosper their businesses. The NBFAA may be reached at (888) 447-1689 or on the Web at http://www.alarm.org.
NBFAA Media Contacts:
Laurie A Knox
Director of Communications,
Public Relations & Marketing
Phone: (888) 447-1689 ext. 209
E-mail: LaurieK @ alarm.org
Phone: (888) 447-1689
E-mail: JasonS @ alarm.org