Going on vacation? Don’t make your home a target for thieves


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Most of us take great pains to make sure our houses are secure when we are home – but is your house secure when you go on vacation?

Turns out July and August are the months when police say the most house breaks occur, because they coincide with vacation times.

Experts tell CBS North Carolina, it just takes a little time and money to make sure your unoccupied home isn’t the target of a break-in.

Police say the average burglar will only spend 60 seconds trying to break into a house.

If you can discourage him for that minute, chances are he’ll go away.

The best kind of prevention is visibility.

Make sure someone trying to break into your home can be seen.

  • Trim your plants and shrubs near windows (you’ll make it tougher for burglars to hide while trying to enter through a window.)
  • Light it up (Put a timer on your exterior lights. A dusk-to-dawn photoelectric cell will work)
  • Use landscape lighting (Inexpensive solar powered landscape lights can illuminate hidden areas of your yard

Thieves love to go through windows, especially in the rear of a house.

Here’s how you can secure them.

  • Use your window locks. (make sure you engage all the window locks on ground floor windows
  • Install supplementary locks on any easily reachable windows that don’t have them
  • Make sliding doors immovable. Put a tight fitting dowel or piece of wood in the track of a sliding door to keep it from being jimmied open.

Don’t forget your garage. That’s like a giant entryway into your home.

If your garage door has windows:

  • Consider replacing it with a windowless door
  • Cover garage windows with mirrored film (that keeps burglars from peering in)
  • Keep your garage door locked at all times

It’s also not a bad idea to take cellphone video of some of your most valuable items just in case your home is burglarized. That way, you’ll have a record for police and insurance investigators.

Email CBS North Carolina’s Steve Sbraccia if you have a consumer issue.

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