June 8, 2006
Angie's List offers ten tips to help ward off thieves
Summer is the season that most burglars get cracking - both literally and figuratively. According to FBI statistics, June, July and August are prime months for residential burglaries.
"Not only are homeowners away on vacations more frequently during the summer months, but with the warmer weather, we're more likely to have windows and doors open or unlocked, making homes more vulnerable to burglars," says Angie's List founder Angie Hicks.
"While there's no such thing as a completely burglar-proof home, there are some easy ways homeowners can better protect themselves," Hicks adds.
June is Burglary Prevention Month, and with that in mind, here are 10 ways to protect your home at little or no cost:
Think like a burglar. Take a walk around your property with a close friend or neighbor who is not too familiar with your house, which means they may spot things you'll overlook. Start outside and identify the best locations for a break in.
Rearrange. Be sure that your valuables are not easily seen from outside your home.
Consider sacrificing extra privacy for added security. Trim trees and shrubs near your doors and windows, and think carefully before installing a high, wooden fence around your back yard. Keep some blinds or curtains open. Closed blinds can be an indicator that no one is home.
Be careful with your keys. Don't hide spare keys in obvious places such as under the doormat or in the flowerpot on the front porch. Give a set to a trusted neighbor instead.
Make it appear like you're at home, even if you're not. Ask a neighbor to help out by collecting mail and newspapers so they don't accumulate, and even park in your driveway or parking place to make it look like someone's home.
Adjust your phone. If you use an answering machine, never leave a message that you're not home. If you don't have a machine, turn down the volume on phones before leaving so it can't be heard from outside - another dead giveaway that nobody's home.
Set timers. Place timers on indoor lights so they come on at night and also on radios and televisions at different times, increasing the appearance that you're home.
Consider low voltage and/or solar powered outdoor lighting. This kind of lighting illuminates your property at very little cost.
Take a household inventory. One of the fastest ways to assist the police in recovery of stolen goods is to video tape every room and all the items in them. As you tape, say what the item is and include the brand name. Title the tape something inconspicuous like "Family Reunion," and put it in your video collection.
Put your name on it. Make sure your name is etched on all electronic equipment. Items with your name and address can't be easily sold, and are therefore less attractive to potential thieves.
To sign up for Angie’s List with the Columbus Bar member discount, contact Loree Myers at 614/236.5478 or email@example.com.