Too many break-ins are preventable. So here’s what you need to know about protecting your home from thieves:

  • First, know that summer is prime time for burglaries. They spike in July, August, and Labor Day Weekend when people are more likely to be on vacation. But that doesn’t mean we can let our guard down other times of the year. December and January are also big months for burglaries. That’s when thieves pick through your recycling bin to see if there are any boxes for new electronics in there. So don’t put the packaging for new electronics in the bin until right before curbside pickup on trash day.

  • Another tip to avoid break-ins: Don’t leave lights on 24/7 or leave the radio playing constantly. That actually alerts thieves that you’re away. Instead, use a timer that turns things on at certain times.

  • A good way to burglar-proof your house is to add shrubs in front of windows, but only about three or four feet high. That’s high enough to make getting close to a window difficult, but short enough so a thief can’t hide behind them.

  • A burglar alarm is a great deterrent, even if it’s not connected to the police department. A loud alarm is enough to scare thieves away. And home improvement stores typically carry cheap alarms, like around $10, you can affix to a window or door.

  • Lastly, your dead-bolt on the front door is a safe option. Just make sure the plates that attach the lock to the door have three-inch screws. Typically, they’re installed with one-inch screws, which makes the door easy to kick in.