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Prevent Crime in the Summertime: Tips to Help Protect Your Home and Family

Health & Safety | Home Security

As the weather heats up, it’s easy to let your guard down, but did you know, summer is one of the busiest seasons for home break-ins? With many people eager to head out of their homes and offices and enjoy some fun in the sun, more houses are left vulnerable to burglaries, making the need for proper home security even more necessary.

What the Research Says About Crime in the Summer

Studies from around the world have demonstrated that crimes jump during the warmer months — and even when it’s unseasonably warm in the winter.

A report from Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health, based on a decade’s worth of crime data, found overall crime rates were highest in the warmest months.

A report from the U.S. Department of Justice also revealed a clear trend: Rates of household property crimes tended to be higher in the summer (June, July, and August) than during other seasons of the year. Burglary showed the strongest seasonality of all household property crimes, with average burglary rates 11% higher in the summer than in the winter.

Why So Much Summertime Crime?

This is a complicated question, and not all experts agree. But researchers have posed a handful of reasons that make a lot of sense:

  • Looser schedules (more time, more crime)
  • No school
  • More daylight hours
  • Longer windows of time away from home
  • More vacations
  • More empty homes
  • Lots of open doors and windows
  • Heat discomfort makes people more aggressive and likely to act out

According to one of the researchers from the Drexel study, which confirmed more crime in the heat:

“Our findings are reasonable when you think about social behavior. When temperatures are extremely cold or hot, people stay indoors. But as temperatures become more comfortable, more people are outdoors, which presents greater opportunity for crime.”

Leah Schinasi, PhD, Assistant Professor

Seasonal patterns and behaviors can change your level of risk, but Guardian’s got your back! Whether you’re taking a well-deserved trip or just spending more time outdoors, here are some tips to help protect your home and your family this summer.

How to Prepare for Summertime

Fortunately, there are many ways you can help protect your home from summertime break-ins. From devices to heightened awareness, proper preparation is essential. Below are a few tips and tricks that can help bring you peace of mind during these warmer months.

Protect your home while away on vacation.

Many burglars “research” and plan ahead, paying close attention to small details suggesting a vacant home. And of course, many homes are vacant for weeks at a time during summer vacations.

  • Mail. Some travelers choose to stop receiving mail while they’re away so an overflowing mailbox doesn’t raise a red flag. A better solution? Ask a close friend to retrieve your mail until you get home. You can also keep an eye out for anticipated packages and mail with your Video Doorbell Pro.
  • Hold off on social media. This may come as a surprise, but burglars are on social media, too. They may even seek out posts that reveal which homes are empty. Don’t post information about or photos of your trip while you are traveling. Save those gorgeous pics for when you get home.
  • Make your property look active. Tumbleweeds rolling through your yard is bad news. Ask a friend or neighbor to park their car in your driveway from time to time so it looks like someone is around.
  • Windows. Make sure all your windows are shut and locked, especially any on the ground floor. Fully closed blinds and curtains scream empty home, so be sure to leave a few open. Your door and window sensors can ensure that none of these access points are opened without your knowledge.
  • Lights. Total darkness (especially for days on end) is like a burglar catnip. Motion-sensing outdoor lighting can help keep intruders at bay. Automated lighting schedules are another easy way to make it look like someone is home. You can also use your smart plugs to remotely turn on lights and pluggable devices throughout your home to give your house that lived-in look.

Get more tips to help secure your home during summer vacations.

Secure your pool.

There’s nothing better than hitting the pool on a hot summer day, and it’s easy to overlook safety and security when cool water is calling. Make sure you secure your pool when it’s not in use, and that any swimming is supervised by an adult.

Use outdoor surveillance cameras.

Video surveillance is a great tool for securing your pool area. With outdoor home security cameras, you can see what’s happening poolside anytime from your smartphone. A monitored home security system plus outdoor video cameras? That’s total peace of mind.

Double Up on Your Home’s Protection This Summer.

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Pro tip: Having a pool party? When you add a doorbell security camera, you can answer the door without even getting off your lounge chair.

Install security sensors.

If a door from your house opens to a pool deck, install a home security door sensor and set up alerts so that you are notified when the door is opened and closed. You can also opt for an underwater pool alarm, which is placed inside the pool itself and detects displaced water.

Pay attention to your yard and keep it safe.

There are many steps you can take to help protect your home against possible threats. Here are a few tips to enhance the safety and security of your yard. (Spoiler alert: It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated to be effective.)

  • Always put your tools and ladders away.
  • Secure any outdoor valuables like grills or patio furniture.
  • If you have a fence, repair any weak or broken spots to eliminate access points. If you don’t have a fence and are considering one, look for these features:
    • At least eight feet high
    • Has a lockable gate (childproof)
    • Self-closing and self-latching
    • No horizontal rails or pieces that could serve as handholds/footholds, making it easy to climb.
    • Has small spacing between the slats. Privacy fences are nice, but they obstruct the view of your yard.
    • Complies with your municipality’s requirements.
  • Keep your landscaping neat and trimmed. Hedges and shrubbery should be low around your doors and windows so they don’t create a good hiding place. A manicured lawn is also an indication that you’re paying attention to your yard.
  • Stop hiding spare keys and invest in a smart door lock. You can finally break free from the key and even give visitors temporary codes.
  • Improve the visibility you have into your yard by installing outdoor surveillance cameras. 
  • If you have a monitored home security system, prominently display window stickers and yard signs as a deterrent.

Make sure you have a monitored security system.

Hands down, a professionally monitored home security system is the number one way to deter intruders and help protect your home from break-ins. Here are just a few things a fully-integrated smart home security solution can bring to the table:

  • 24/7 professional monitoring. If a potential burglar gets up to your home and attempts to enter, an armed, monitored security system will alarm and notify the monitoring center.
  • Smart lighting. Motion-detecting lights will draw attention if anyone enters your yard and may scare off a potential burglar.
  • Video surveillance. Well-positioned exterior cameras help keep an eye on the exterior of your home. They also send a clear message that someone’s always watching.
  • Mobile access. Anytime, anywhere access from your smartphone.

Learn More to Help Guard What Is Important

There are many home security mistakes that you might make throughout the summer, but the best way to prepare yourself and your home is to arm yourself with facts and devices. With proper preparation, there are countless ways to defend your home and family to have a safe and happy summer.

Call us at 1.800.PROTECT (1.800.776.8328) to learn more about adding devices to your Guardian Protection security system.

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