June 16th, 2015
Summer's the season when many American workers devote a large chunk of their vacation to traveling. Unfortunately, summer is also the time of year when burglars get especially busy.
Burglars are roughly 11 percent more likely to strike homes during summer than winter, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
If you're planning a trip this summer, a few simple strategies will reduce the risk that intruders will make off with your valuables while you're making vacation memories.
Sharing your vacation plans can either jeopardize or protect your home. Burglars often do a lot of research to see if you're away from your home. Don't make their job easier by announcing on social media that you're on vacation.
Even if you only share your status updates with friends, this information can travel further than you intend. So post your vacation pictures after you return home, State Farm warned.
On the other hand, do share your vacation plans with a trusted neighbor. As the chatty crooks told Reader's Digest, burglars don't like nosy neighbors. Ask your neighbor to keep an eye on your home and report any suspicious activity or noises from your property. Your neighbor can also make your home look occupied by setting out and bringing in your trash cans, as well as picking up your mail and newspaper.
Create a live-in look while you're gone
The Insurance Information Institute recommended putting your interior lights on a timer so they'll give the appearance that someone is home. If you're going to be gone long enough for your lawn to get shaggy, arrange to have it mowed while you're away.
Also, avoid drawing all your shades or lowering all your blinds. That can be a giveaway that you're gone.
The Electronic Security Association noted burglars generally don't want to spend more than 60 seconds breaking into a home. In about 30 percent of cases, burglars don't have to use force to get inside, instead entering through an unlocked window or door, according to Nationwide.
Installing deadbolts and ensuring that your exterior door frames and doors are made of thick, solid metal or wood will help resist entry, the III stated. Lock your shed so thieves don't grab tools they can use to break into your house.
Though your homeowners insurance policy can cover your burglary-related loss, the cost of your coverage may go up after a break-in, SFGate.com noted. On the other hand, by installing certain home-safety features like deadbolts and alarm systems, you may be eligible for discounts on your insurance policy, according to the III.
Need coverage for your home? Check out CoverHound, the easy way to shop for homeowners insurance online.