Protect yourself from home break-ins

Follow these steps to deter would-be thieves

Protect yourself from home break-ins
Will your home be safe while you are away? (Source: Pexels)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - January is the top month for home break-ins, so this is a great time to learn how to protect your home.

According to data from Allstate Insurance Company, more homes are broken into in Arizona during the month of January than any other time of the year. This data comes from an analysis of claims data over the 10-year period from January 2008 to December 2018.

To help deter thieves, Allstate recommends the following:

  • Landscape for security – Planting thorny bushes such as cactus under windows may discourage an attempt to gain access into your home. You can also install landscape lighting, including motion-activated lights, on your property to serve as a deterrent.
  • Deter package thieves – You can work with most delivery companies on security by requesting a text when a delivery is made, requiring a signature or simply asking that packages be left in a less-prominent location.
  • Keep valuables hidden – Rearrange your furnishings so your valuables are less visible from a door or street-side window. Garage openers and car keys should be stored inside a cabinet or drawer to keep them hidden from view.
  • Reinforce entry points – Upgrade your exterior doors to metal or solid wood, and make sure they’re at least 1 3/4 inches thick. Windows can be protected with locks or burglar-resistant glass. If your home has sliding-glass windows or doors, reinforce them with a metal bar. A security alarm is also helpful, of course.
  • Keep a digital record of your belongings – Take pictures of valuable items in your house and create a special folder on your computer or phone – and be sure to back it up to the cloud. Keeping a record of your personal property makes filing insurance claims easier in the event of a loss. Ask your insurer if it has any tools or apps that can help you with this task.
  • Practice safe behaviors – Routinely lock doors and windows and arm the alarm system when exiting your home. If you’ll be gone awhile, try to give off the appearance that your home is occupied: Leave blinds in their usual positions, make a plan to defer mail and other deliveries and use light timers in various areas of the home (smart home devices can help with this).

“Whether you’re out running everyday errands or enjoying a vacation, it’s important to protect your home and belongings from unwanted attention while you’re gone,” says Alicia Gonzales, an Allstate spokesperson.

The top items on thieves’ shopping lists include cash, prescription drugs, jewelry, electronics, firearms, tools, liquor, decorative items and documents with information used to steal identity.

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