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Washington DC Real Estate Resource Center: Keep Your Washington DC Home Secure While You're Away

Whether you live on Capitol Hill, in Chevy Chase or anywhere else in the Washington, D.C. metro area, when you're planning your summer vacation, make sure to put home security on your to-do list. The Insurance Information Institute says July and August are the worst months for burglaries. Still, the institute says that 90% of burglaries reported could have been prevented and offers these tips to help you burglar-proof your home this summer:

  • Put yourself in the burglar's shoes and "case" your home. Take a look at the easy ways to break into your home. What can you see from a quick glance in the room? Expensive electronic equipment or artwork, perhaps? What can be seen from the street may entice burglars.
  • Lighting is enemy No. 1 to burglars. Keep your home well-lit by using exterior lights that are hard to get to in your yard or trees. Even if you're just going out for a few hours, instead of a few weeks, lights in the home can keep burglars away.
  • How long would it take to break into your home? The institute reports that many would-be burglars will give up if it appears the break-in time is more than five minutes.
  • Keep your windows and doors visible by trimming trees and shrubs. Privacy may be nice for you and your family, but shrubs also make good cover for burglars.
  • Make it noisy to break into your home. A burglar alarm can be installed rather affordably. An alert dog can also deter burglars.
  • A deadbolt lock works well to fend off burglars-but only if it's attached to a strong metal or solid hardwood door.

One final note: Keeping burglars out is the key, but don't make your home so burglar-proof that you or your family can't get out quickly in case of an emergency. Have a happy-and safe-summer!

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Michelle Buckman Real Estate

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