Burglars don’t take off for the holidays: 5 tips to prevent home break-ins

(BPT) – While consumers have been in their homes more in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, USAA wants consumers to be aware of the potential increase in thefts during the holiday season.

Top 10 states for USAA personal property theft claims in 2020

1. California

2. Texas

3. Washington

4. Colorado

5. Georgia

6. Virginia

7. North Carolina

8. Oregon

9. Florida

10. Arizona

Even though you may be home more now than ever, don’t let your guard down. In fact, unlocked doors and windows can be the cause of successful burglaries, but they can be easily preventable. Home security is vital to the safety of yourself, your family and your belongings.

Here are five simple ideas to help prevent home break-ins.

Install a home security system: Security systems offer perhaps the most powerful protection for your home. Even a simple alarm system and a few well-placed signs in your yard and on your windows can greatly diminish the likelihood of home break-ins. If you can afford it, motion sensors on doors and windows, along with 24-hour monitoring, deliver even greater protection. Monitored security systems, such as ADT Home Security, may allow for discounts on your home or renters insurance.

Don’t hide keys outside of your house: For convenience, many people hide a key outside near the front door. If a key is easy for your family or friends to find, it’s easy for a thief to find. Instead, leave a key with a neighbor you trust.

Make it look like you’re home: Most thieves want to strike while you’re away. With some good sense and creativity, you can fool them into thinking you are home. Consider purchasing timers that turn your lamps and TV on and off at different times in the evening. You may also consider a timer for your front porch light. Also consider suspending your mail and newspaper delivery while you are away.

Install outdoor lighting: Darkness is a burglar’s best friend. When thieves approach your home, a bright light suddenly turning on may have them consider moving on. Motion activated lights are inexpensive, easy to install and a great way to put thieves in the spotlight.

Keep windows and doors locked: This tip may seem obvious, but unlocked doors and windows are the cause of successful burglaries. If you open a window to let the crisp, cool air in, remember to close them.

For additional tips visit usaa.com/renters.

Use of the term “member” or “membership” refers to membership in USAA Membership Services and does not convey any legal or ownership rights in USAA. Restrictions apply and are subject to change. To join USAA, separated military personnel must have received a discharge type of “Honorable.” Eligible former dependents of USAA members may join USAA.

Property and casualty insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, USAA General Indemnity Company, Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company, based in San Antonio, TX; USAA Limited (UK) and USAA S.A. (Europe) and is available only to persons eligible for P&C group membership. Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products.

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