AMELIA, Ohio, June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- With summer finally here, families across the country will be taking off for long-awaited vacations and weekend getaways. While planning where to go and what to pack, it is also important to create a plan to protect your home while you're away. That's because burglars are making summer plans, too.
According to the US Department of Justice, the highest percentage of burglaries occurs during the summer months, and thieves aren't just after what's inside your home.
"Empty homes offer thieves the perfect opportunity to steal valuable goods, even if they don't step foot in your house," said Heather Bolyard, AVP of claims support for American Modern Insurance Group®, a leader in specialty insurance. "Some of the most sought after items for burglars are actually located outside of the physical confines of your home, from air conditioning units and pool pumps, to recreational belongings such as bicycles."
An American Modern survey of more than 500 adults living in the US, indicated that 31% do not take proactive steps to secure property and personal items located on the outside of the home. Additionally, the survey indicated that respondents were most likely to take steps to protect their electronics (42%), as well as jewelry and watches (23%) inside their homes, and less likely to do so with outdoor/recreational items (18%). The survey was conducted through Google in June 2016.
Bolyard said, "Some thieves are after materials that can be sold to scrappers or recyclers for quick cash, while others want moderately expensive items that can be sold online before an owner realizes they're gone. These items can include bicycles, sporting equipment, pool pumps and copper coils from air conditioning units."
According to the FBI, over two million home burglaries are reported each year in the United States. American Modern Insurance Group® notes there are cost-effective measures that can be taken to reduce the risk, including:
- Install strong door locks and deadbolts. Choose a lock that is proven to withstand drilling or picking.
- Reinforce doorjambs and strike plates. Most often, structural failures occur when strike plates separate from doorframes.
- Apply window security film. This prevents glass breakage and can deter a smash-and-grab.
- Lock your windows. If your windows don't already have locks, add them. Or, drill small holes into the upper and lower sashes at their overlap point and insert removable eyebolts.
- Close and lock your shed and garage every night. Make sure your vehicles are under cover and secure before you head out of town. On a smaller scale, stolen tools and lawn equipment are also a lucrative theft item, so ensure these items are securely stored away. The garage can also serve as a common entry point for burglars.
- When away from home, don't advertise your absence. Put temporary holds on mail and newspaper delivery, or have a trusted neighbor collect them. Put lights on staggered timers. Also, avoid posting on social media about your travel plans, which can increase the risk of burglaries and break-ins while you are away from your property.
- Keep valuables outside the bedroom. Thieves on the hunt for valuables will likely make the master bedroom their first stop to scout out jewelry or cash. Keep these items in a different room instead.
- Put in motion-activated outdoor lighting. Make sure entry points are especially well-lit.
- Organize a Neighborhood Watch. Meet your neighbors and deter theft!
- Vehicles and items left in them. Most vehicle-related thefts take place in under 20 seconds. Never leave loose items on the seats or dash; lock them in the trunk or, better yet, take them inside with you. If you have a garage at home, use it. If you must park on the street, install a loud alarm system with a visible, blinking dash light.
About American Modern Insurance Group
American Modern is a specialty insurance leader that delivers products and services for residential property like manufactured homes and specialty dwellings and for consumers in the recreational market, including owners of boats, personal watercraft, classic cars, motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles. American Modern is licensed in all 50 states through six property and casualty companies, which are part of an insurance group that enjoys an A+ (superior) rating by the A.M. Best Company, a leading independent insurance analyst. These companies insure more than one million policyholders countrywide and have been recognized as a Best Place to Work by the Cincinnati Business Courier and a Top Workplace by the Cincinnati Enquirer. Policies are written by one of the licensed insurers of American Modern Insurance Group, Inc., including American Modern Home Insurance company d/b/a in CA as American Modern Insurance Company (Lic.No. 2222-8).
SOURCE American Modern Insurance Group