Birmingham, Alabama (July 27, 2012) - According to the FBI, a house, apartment, or condominium in the United States is burglarized once every 15 seconds. In 2008, victims of burglary lost an estimated $4.6 billion. July and August are popular vacation months, and not surprisingly, they're also the months when home burglaries peak. To fully enjoy your trip, plan appropriate home security and maintenance with this checklist.
Inside The House
Set timers on interior lights: This goes a long way in deterring burglars, who often look for crimes of opportunity. Don't allow your house to appear as if no one is home.
No status updates: Never broadcast your location on Facebook or Twitter. Even if you think that it's only your friends or colleagues viewing your online profiles, it's safest not to leave any sort of opening for a possible burglar.
Alert alarm company: If you have an automatic security system in place, call your representative, announcing you'll be away from home for an extended period of time. Make sure the alarm is set properly when you leave.
Secure valuables: If you don't already have your jewelry or other valuables in a safe deposit box, now might be the time to do so. Doing this also ensures that you don't leave out anything valuable in plain sight that a burglar might be able to see from a window.
Lock all doors and windows: It might seem obvious, but double-check just to be sure.
Outside The House
Arrange for lawn care: Have your landscaping tended to by a friendly neighbor or local service. Before you leave, trim tree branches that might allow access to a climbing burglar.
Newspaper and mail: Stop mail and newspaper deliveries, or have them regularly picked up by a neighbor. Again, you don't want to easily clue in a burglar to your absence by the mounting newspapers on your doorstep.
Exterior lighting: Set these lights on timers as well, to deter burglars.
Don't leave spare keys outdoors: Collect any hidden spare keys from around the exterior of your home. Remember, burglars know the most popular hiding places, like beneath mats and in potted plants.
Lock up garage: Even if there is no entrance to your house from the garage, there's still a chance for numerous things to be stolen. Secure the door and any entrances to the garage.
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