Break-ins

Don’t Let Thieves Break into Your Home—and Your Identity

A home is broken into every 15 seconds, and 1 of every 5 homes will experience a break-in or home invasion, according to U.S. Department of Justice crime statistics. The best defense against burglary is prevention. With a little planning, you can make your home and your possessions—including all your personal documents—unappealing to burglars.

These six tips can help keep your home safe and secure:

1. Secure your garage. Keep garage doors closed and locked. If you have an automatic garage door opener, you should protect it and never leave it visible in your vehicle. Of course, always be sure to lock the door between the garage and your home.

2. Never hide keys around the exterior of your home. Thieves look in mailboxes, under doormats and above doorways for keys.

3. Always lock doors and gates. Even if you’re just going around the corner, lock up. And that includes securing sliding glass doors so they can’t be lifted out of the track.

4. Avoid putting a family name next to street numbers. This prevents would-be burglars from looking up the name in the phone book and calling to check if someone is home.

5. Use lighting as a deterrent. Consider a combination of photoelectric lights that automatically switch on and off at dusk and dawn and motion-sensitive lights. Position them at a height intruders cannot easily reach.

6. Don’t let burglars know when you’re not home. Keep business travel and vacation plans private and off social networking sites.

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