IRVING, Texas – May 10 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Nearly every 15 seconds a burglary is committed in the United States, and the busiest burglar season is summer. So before you pack that suitcase, board the family pet and say goodbye to everyday chores, make sure you’ve planned ways to keep your home and valuables safe. To help with that planning, the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) offers these tips.

(c) Send2PressThe first thing you should remember is to discourage the thief. Since burglars prefer to break in to houses that look unoccupied, lower your home’s appeal by making it look like you’re there. Use timers on lights, radios and televisions and leave drapes and shades open. Before you leave, ask neighbors to put trash cans out on trash day. It’s also a good idea to either leave a car parked in the driveway, or ask a neighbor to park there.

Make arrangements to take care of your mail or newspapers; arrange for delivery to stop, or ask a friend to help. And don’t overlook the lawn. Mow your yard before you leave, and if you’re going to be gone long, make sure it is taken care of during your vacation.

The second step, deny easy access, involves some basic, but often overlooked, ways to prevent your home from becoming a target. According to industry research, burglars spend no more than 60 seconds breaking into a home, so anything you do to increase this time may cause intruders to change their mind. The most basic protection is to lock all doors and windows, and secure the garage door. It is estimated that a third of all burglars enter through the front door, and most entries of residences occur during the day. So don’t invite the thief into your home.

In fact, consider installing deadbolt locks for added security. It is also a good idea to trim your trees and hedges; this gives burglars fewer hiding places. And don’t forget to replace burned-out yard lights, and consider upgrading with built-in motion detectors. Anything that makes a thief think twice before selecting your home as a target will add protection.

The third step, manage the risk, involves taking the time to enlist your neighbors, friends or local police in keeping an eye on your property. In addition to letting your neighbors know you are going on vacation, ask them to watch your house. Tell them how long you will be gone and give them the names or descriptions of anyone that may need access to your house.

You should always leave a house key and a number where you can be reached with a trusted individual. For extended vacations, consider a house sitter and telling your local police when you will be away.

The final layer of protection involves being able to detect an intruder. NBFAA recommends investing in a home security system since homes without them are about three times more likely to be broken into than homes with security systems. (Actual statistic ranges from 2.2 times to 3.1 times, depending on the value of the home.)

Most importantly, NBFAA reminds consumers to activate their systems, especially when on vacation. Crime statistics show that most security systems are turned off in those homes that are burglarized. Finally, make sure that anyone with access to the home knows how to properly operate the system.

Before purchasing a home security system, NBFAA offers consumers ten tips for selecting an installer. Consumers can access the tips and other information on home safety and security at www.alarm.org.

About National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association
NBFAA, a non-profit 501(c) 6 trade association, is the nation’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to representing, promoting, and supporting the electronic life safety, security, and systems industry. Member companies specialize in services to commercial and residential consumers, including security and fire alarms, video surveillance, access control and monitoring.

News issued by: National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association

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Original Story ID: (2834) :: 2007-05-0510-001

Original Keywords: National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, home security, NBFAA, nonprofit, electronic life safety, security, and systems industry, security and fire alarms, video surveillance, access control and monitoring, Summer, theft prevention National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association

News Source: National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association