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Life Lessons: Burglarproof your home

By Nancy Werteen, Anchor / Reporter, NWerteen@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 10 2013 04:00:00 AM CDT

Life lessons burglarproof your home

Will you be going on vacation this summer?

AAA reports that home burglaries are higher during peak travel months.

Imagine how awful it would be to come home from vacation and find your house had been robbed.

Police say nine out of 10 home burglaries can be avoided by taking proper security measures.

If a burglar started watching your house for an opportunity, what would he see?

Assistant Chief Joseph Hanna of the Allentown Police Department says there is one important thing to remember:

"First and foremost you want to make sure anyone from the outside, from the street has a vision of the house being occupied."

Hanna says thieves hate lights so you should have plenty. "They don't want to be exposed; they want to work under the cover of darkness."

Hanna suggests you have a timer that will turns lights on and off when you are away.

He says to cancel your newspaper and mail service, have a neighbor check on your house, don't advertise you will be away on social media, and have someone mow the grass.

"The first indication that someone is away is high grass or a sidewalk that's not shoveled."

If you have a window near your front door, be careful.

Hanna says, "If it's within three feet of the lock mechanism, you should have a double cylinder dead bolt which means it's keyed on both sides."

Window air conditioners are a red flag because they can be pushed in, but Hanna says, "at any hardware store for under 10 bucks, you can get slider locks."

These locks secure the unit from the inside.

Consider having a neighbor park a car in your driveway so it looks like someone is home and trim shrubs so a burglar has nowhere to hide.

"The rule of thumb is shrubbery should be no higher than three feet," says Hanna.

He adds:

*Consider a home security system or housesitter.
*Don't hide a spare key outside.
*No exposed ladders or tools.
*Remove valuables to a safe place.
*Place automatic garage door openers on security mode or disconnect.
*Leave a radio or TV turned on to a talk station.

You can also ask your local police department to do a vacation watch of your home.

Some will provide this service and periodically drive by your house while you're away.