Summer is a great time to escape on vacation, but it’s also the time of year when burglaries increase – as much as 10 percent, according to the FBI. So Amica Insurance is reminding residents to take steps to protect their homes from burglars.
“Burglars often look for easy targets – unoccupied homes that are easy to break into,” said Michael Gillerlane, a senior assistant vice president with Amica Insurance. “The most important thing to do, whether you’re leaving overnight or an extended vacation, is to make your home looked lived-in while you’re gone.”
Remember to close and lock all windows and doors, Gillerlane said. Consider installing deadbolt locks if you don’t already have them.
“Make it as hard for the burglars as you can,” Gillerlane said.
The Insurance Information Institute reports that if it takes more than four or five minutes to break into a home, burglars will typically move on to another.
Here are some other quick tips and reminders:
- Lock garages and sheds so burglars don’t use your tools to break into your home.
- Leave a light on or use a timer to stagger when the lights go on and off.
- Stop mail and newspaper deliveries, or ask a neighbor to collect them so they don’t pile up.
- Arrange for someone to mow the lawn if the house will be vacant for an extended period of time.
- Turn off and password-protect computers, and disconnect them from the Internet.
“Most people keep their valuables in similar places – and burglars know that,” Gillerlane said. “It’s a good idea to hide expensive jewelry somewhere other than a bedroom, or consider leaving it in a safety deposit box. Do not leave personal documents out or in an unlocked desk.”
It’s also smart to let trusted friends and neighbors know when you’ll be gone, but don’t publicize the fact that you will be on vacation, Gillerlane said.
“Try not to talk about your vacation plans on social media sites or in public places – you never know who could be listening in.”
To report suspicious activity, call the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office at 734-426-0228.