According to U.S. Department of Justice statistics, an American home is broken into about every 15 seconds. Summer marks a busy time of year when Americans need to be extra aware of heightened home security breaches. According to the FBI, July and August have the highest monthly burglary rates, as intruders look to take advantage of increased travel during the summer months.

Homeowners are advised to take action and prevent intrusions by strengthening home security. The best defense against burglary is preventionand with proper planning you can help make your home unappealing to burglars. Burglars watch to see when you are traveling on vacation and even look for signs you are gone for minutes or hours at a time.

Here are a few tips to keep your home secure during summer months:

  • Protect your home’s main point of entry by installing a strong lock like the Schlage Touchscreen Deadbolt. I like this product because it offers the highest grade residential security available and has a built-in alarm, anti-pick shield and is even easy enough for you to install on your own.
  • Don’t leave windows open and unlocked while you are gone. Close and lock them even if you are just leaving for a few minutes. This will cut off easy access to your home.
  • Don’t leave outside lights on 24 hours a day. Using timers on indoor and outdoor lights is an easy way to give the illusion that you’re home – even when you are not.
  • Don’t leave your driveway empty and even ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway while you are gone.
  • Don’t allow your overgrown grass to grab attention. Schedule time for a landscaper or have someone trusted mow your lawn if you’re going to be gone for weeks at a time.
  • Don’t pack your car openly before a trip. This should be done in your garage or late at night under the cover of darkness.
  • Do have trusted friends, family, or neighbors collect your deliveries and let the police know you are traveling.
  • Don’t list your vacation plans on social media. Burglars love when you tell them you are 2,000 miles away and wait until you get home to post all those photos.
  • Lock all your doors and unplug garage door openers.
  • Don’t share your travel plans on a voicemail outgoing message and make sure to collect all your voicemails so the “mailbox is full” messages don’t play.
  • Don’t leave valuables sitting on dressers or in unlocked draws and make sure to lock everything of significant value in a safe.
  • Use a home automation system like Nexia Home Intelligence to check in on your home from afar. By using a system like this with a Schlage Camera, homeowners can monitor unusual activity to spot anything out of the ordinary.

Summertime doesn’t have to be burglar time if you follow these dos and don’ts!

Robert Siciliano Home Security Expert to Schlage discussing home security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover. Disclosures.

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