Lazy Days of Summer = Busy Burglars

Spring 2010 in the Northwest has been a bit on the damp side, but I’m hopeful summer will bring the sun.  Inspired by that hope, I believe the time has come to start thinking about summer crime prevention.

With the sun shining brightly and temperatures rising, everyone is eager to shake off the winter doldrums and enjoy some summer fun.  Once attention turns to days at the lake or picnics in the park, people often become less diligent about home security, and leave their homes vulnerable to burglars.  Indulge in the joys of summer, but don’t let a home burglary ruin the fun and give attention to open windows, spare keys and lock all doors every time a home is left empty.

Hot weather leads to open windows that draw a cooling breeze through the house and when people leave for work in the morning they often leave the windows wide open.  Many people believe it’s safe to leave second floor windows open, but burglars can usually access upper levels of a home as easily as the ground floor.  Instead of leaving your windows open when no one is home, install energy efficient ceiling fans to keep air circulating and close the blinds, curtains or shades that cover windows facing the sun to reflect heat away from your house.

Leaving a key under the doormat may be cliché, but people still do it.  Easy access to spare keys comes in handy during the summer months when kids have dynamic schedules and guests are visiting.  Avoid the urge to “hide” a key above a door frame, under a potted plant or inside a lawn decoration.  Burglars know all the hiding places and gain access to a home with ease.  Instead, leave a key with a trusted neighbor or nearby family member.

And speaking of kids and their crazy summer schedules, make certain to stress to teens allowed to stay home alone the importance of always locking up the house when they leave, even it’s just for a few minutes.

With summertime fun in full swing, no on wants to worry about a home invasion and many safety and security habits are allowed to slip.  However, burglars look for homes with easy access and will take advantage of distracted homeowners.  Protect your home by making it an unattractive target.  Keep windows and doors locked up tight and don’t leave keys any place a burglar could get access to them.