For most of us, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer when we plan back yard barbeques, weekend getaways and extended vacations. It’s a time when we relax and kick back – but did you know that crime typically increases along with the temperature? Stay safe this summer by following a few simple security tips:
- If you are going away for any period of time – think about WHO has keys to your home or business and who shouldn’t have keys. It may be a god time to change your locks.
- Consider installing a camera system that allows you to monitor your house while you are away. With today’s technology installation is easy, and now most systems can be viewed remotely without a monthly fee.
- Change your garage code if lots of people know it, especially if the garage is attached to the house.
- Before leaving for vacation, put lights throughout the house on timers. Install a programmable switch for your front door light(s), and have the post office hold your mail. If you park in the driveway, ask a friend or neighbor to move your car once or twice while you are away. And notify the local police or sheriff’s department if you will be away for more than a few days. They can schedule drive by visits to keep an eye on the place.
- Keep the front door locked – especially when you are out in the yard. Summertime break-ins are often crimes of opportunity, and an unlocked door is an invitation to thieves.
- Even if you are just running to the store for a quick minute – close your windows and lock your doors. That’s all it takes for someone to see you leave and be in and out of the house in minutes.
- If you like to sleep with the windows open, invest in window stops. They are inexpensive and easy to install. These simple devices ensure that the window will not open high enough for anyone to climb through.
- Don’t leave your windows “cracked” when you park, in the hopes that it will keep the interior of the car cooler. It makes it that much easier for a thief to use a slim jim tool.
- When you get out – take a quick look through the windows of both the front and back seats. If you see anything, thieves will too. Even something as simple as an envelope or box can pique the interest of a thief, who imagines that there is something worth stealing inside. Secure your valuables out of sight.
- If you have an EZ Pass that is Velcro-ed to your windshield – take it down and put it in the glove compartment if you are going to be parked for an extended period or overnight. You would be surprised at how often these are stolen.
- Don’t leave cigarette lighters, or anything else that could explode, on the dashboard or in direct sun.
- Take your car keys with you – even when you park in your own driveway. It may sound obvious, but people often stash their keys (or an extra “valet” key) under the seat or in the change holder “in case” someone needs to move the car. Be smart – lock the doors every time.
This summer, take the time to kick back, relax and enjoy – just don’t relax your security measures!