If there is a downside to summer, it's that homes are more at risk of being burglarized than any other time of year. Enjoying the warm, fresh air, family members can become lax about leaving doors, windows and blinds open. What's more, summer is when families like to get away. So, take a minute to read Frontpoint’s Top 10 Security Tips for Summer. You’ll be making a valuable investment in your peace of mind!
1. Think like a burglar.
This means looking objectively at your home and trying to find a way in. Lef your ladder outside? Put it away. Shrubs to hide behind or trees to climb giving access to upstairs? Burglars who target windows for entry often look for one with overgrown shrubs near it so that they can hide from neighbors. Vents? Dog doors? Get creative – and sneaky! And remember: burglars do cut phone lines, which is why cellular monitoring is so much safer.
2. Doors, Windows & Locks.
We know the front or back door is the most common point of entry, but open windows in the summer are tempting for intruders. Sliding glass doors are a favorite target for lifting out – and your alarm system’s glass break sensor is a good backup if someone breaks through the glass, which burglars do. You can also take advantage of energy management and automation technology – now integrated with popular home security systems – to remotely control and monitor doors and be notified in real-time if locked doors are unlocked.
3. Keys and key chains.
Chances are your hidden key is not so hard to find: have your friends guess – I bet you’ll need to be a bit more clever. And don’t put an address on your keys. A keychain without an address is useless to a burglar, but with your address, it’s a gilt-edged invitation to your home.
4. Do not open the door for strangers.
You don't have to open your door to salespeople. Remember that many burglars pose as salespeople (even as alarm salespeople!) to see if residents are at home before breaking in. Also, summer is the high season for ruse and distraction burglaries, when one burglar holds your attention while another rips you off.
5. Light it up.
The last thing a burglar wants is to be seen. Exterior lights are a great deterrent to intruders, who focus on the rear and sides of your home – which is why we start there when helping you lay out your alarm system. And today’s better alarm systems let you control and schedule your lights remotely, to make it look like you are home.
6. Get to know your neighbors.
It really helps if we’re looking out for each other. Here is the Neighborhood Watch link from the National Crime Prevention Council – it contains a wealth of information. Report suspicious behavior: to a would-be burglar, that patrolling squad car is a very powerful message to “Move on!” If a friend or relative is taking a trip, do your part. Help them out when they ask you to watch out for their house. If you’re taking your car with you, ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.
7. Lawn and Papers - and Social Media.
Nothing is more inviting to a bad guy than the “We’re away!” message. And speaking of neighbors, they appreciate it if your house looks loved and lived-in. Cancel deliveries or ask a friend to keep things ship-shape. Don't mention on Facebook or Twitter that you are taking a trip. Use social media to talk about your vacation after you have returned home. You really need to think twice about ever posting your whereabouts – see my previous post on this topic.
8. Your Alarm System.
Here are a couple of scary stats: (1) the FBI reports that there is a burglary in the US every 15 seconds, and (2) without a monitored alarm system you are three times more likely to experience a break-in as your neighbor with a system – and that deterrence starts with yard or fence signage and window decals. Make it clear you’re protected and reduce the risk by encouraging the perp to find another target. You already know where I stand on interactive, wireless home security with cellular monitoring: that’s our specialty at Frontpoint Security.
9. Add Home Security to Your ‘Carry On’ Baggage.
Whether you’re traveling for business, vacationing with the family or just away from home, controlling your security system is incredibly simple with home security mobile apps. The best home security systems now allow you to use your iPhone, Blackberry, Android or another mobile device to monitor activity and control your system while on the go. You can even watch live or recorded video footage from multiple security cameras directly on your cell phone with video monitoring that’s integrated with your home security system.
10. Save on Utilities.
Home automation is not necessarily a security item, but this last tip can save you a lot of money. Energy management is all the rage these days, and controlling your thermostats remotely is now an inexpensive and easy option. That means you can change temperature settings, cooling schedules, and other aspects of your home energy management - all with the same mobile apps mentioned above. These benefits can more than pay for your monthly alarm service. This is one of the fastest-growing areas in home security, although not all alarm companies offer it.
Frontpoint is the recognized nationwide leader for combining the most advanced home security and home automation services. Whether it’s cellular monitoring, notifications and remote arming, video features, or using apps to control lights, locks, and thermostats, Frontpoint has the solution. We provide systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, and more affordable. You deserve to enjoy your summer, whether you're at home or traveling, and Frontpoint can help. Here’s to a safe and secure summer!