Summer is the best time of the year to soak up the sun, but it’s also the most popular season for burglaries. This isn’t because the warm weather brings out criminals, though. Burglaries can happen at any time of the year.
According to the FBI, a burglary happens in the U.S. every 15.4 seconds. So what makes the summer months so different?
Why are houses more susceptible to burglary during the summer?
Home security tends to be lax during the summer months compared to other times of the year. For instance, windows are more likely to be open because of the hot weather, doors are more likely to be unlocked because the kids are outside playing, and families are more likely to be out traveling.
Lowered security around your home puts your property and your family at risk. The good news is that there are a few ways you can keep your home safe and secure even when you’re on a budget.
Make use of the home security you already have
The first step to making sure your home stays safe and secure this summer is to make use of the security systems you already have. Inspect your home’s fire alarms to make sure they’re working correctly and that their batteries are fresh. Always make sure the batteries are new before you leave for vacation, too.
Apartments, hotels, offices, and facilities that care for the sick make up 50% of high-rise fires. According to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, 50.3% of house fires in 2016 were caused by cooking, 9.6% were caused by heating, 6.6% were caused by negligence, and 6.5% were caused by electrical malfunctions.
Air conditioning systems put more stress on your home’s electrical, and families are more likely to have cookouts and barbeques during the summer. That said, be sure to follow proper fire precautions by keeping flammable materials away from electrical outlets and grills.
Keep windows closed and locked when the air conditioning is on. You can also give each person in the family an extra key to the house so you can keep the door locked throughout the day. The garage should also be kept closed and locked when it isn’t in use to prevent property theft or break-ins.
If you’re away on vacation, make sure you let your local mail office or newspaper delivery know. Papers building up outside your door is a surefire way to tell potential burglars that you’re not home.
Finally, make sure you’re making use of your home’s exterior lighting system. It’s estimated that up to 67% of burglaries can be avoided by installing video surveillance systems because burglars don’t like to be seen. Exterior lights prevent burglars from being able to creep around in the shadows and avoid getting caught by neighbors.
Make smart home security investments
It’s important that you be smart about how you spend your money when you choose to invest in a home security system. Don’t assume the most expensive option or the most tech-savvy option is the best choice for you.
Think like a burglar. They want to get in and get out fast without getting caught. That means they’re more likely to run when they can’t access your home, they’re visible, or when loud sounds draw attention to them.
Your first line of defense will always be your doors and windows. Make sure they’re locked and that you have exterior lights or motion lights around them. Not only can this help deter intruders, it can keep your family safe from nighttime injuries. You don’t want to be one of the 27% of patients who visit urgent care in the middle of the night.
If you make an investment in a security system, consider a basic alarm system. This is your second line of defense in case a burglar makes it past your doors or windows. The loud noise is more likely to make the burglar run and, if they don’t, the police will be on their way within a few minutes depending on your system.
Aside from these tips, ensure that your home insurance is covering you from any sort of burglaries as well. Home insurance can be a lifesaver in a post-burglary situation, as well as any weather-related damages which might affect your home. In 2017, for example, there were approximately $1.8 billion in property damage from the 6,045 major hail storms that year.
Summer is a great season for family fun, but it’s important to remember that your family’s safety and security is your priority, too. Luckily, you can stay safe this summer no matter the size of your budget.