Believe it or not, Spring Break is just around the corner. I’m hearing clients and friends talking about those trips to Disney World, the beach or visits to family. But, like any time with large sections of the community out of school, homes are left vacant and targeted for theft.

Here are some summarized tips passed along to area real estate agents. You can see the whole article here.

  1. Maintain the property. It’s easy to stay warm inside during the winter, but make sure you’re taking care of overgrown plants and anything else that makes it look like no one is at home.
  2. Know your neighbors. Who do you call to make sure everything is OK? Who is keeping an eye out?
  3. Identify weaknesses. How would you break in?
  4. Lights! Take a look at timers and other tools to make sure the area around your home is properly lit.
  5. Break out the tech. Use the technology at your disposal to make lights and other electronics turn on. This can give the appearance people are home.
  6. Lock your doors. “In 30 percent of burglaries, the criminals access the home through an unlocked door or window; 34 percent of burglars use the front door to get inside; and 22 percent use the back door, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.”
  7. Reinforce your locks. Double-cylinder deadbolts are recommended.
  8. Get loud. Make sure you include a siren with your alarm system.
  9. Consider surveillance cameras. Like most technology, they are getting cheaper.
  10. Mark your valuables. This makes it easier for insurance should you become a victim of a crime. Consider using handy phone apps to capture photos of your belongings.