PhotoThe holiday season is nearly upon us, and many consumers are planning to get their shopping done early. Unfortunately,  stockpiling brand new products in your home can make it a prime target for burglars.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways consumers can protect their homes from intruders. Taking commonsense precautions to protect your home at all hours of the day, as well as integrating smart home technologies, can keep you and your loved one safe and secure.

Taking precautions

Last year, there were over 1.5 million burglaries in the U.S., accounting for nearly 20 percent of all estimated property crimes, according to the FBI. That translated into $3.6 billion in property losses, with affected consumers losing an average of $2,361.

To reduce your chance of becoming a victim, HomeAdvisor suggests conducting a thorough examination of your home to identify any vulnerable spots. Walking around the exterior of your home and checking low windows or side doors and clearing areas that can easily conceal a prospective burglar (overgrown shrubs or trees) can give you a good idea of where to focus your attention.

Here are some precautions you can take to protect your home from the outside:

  • Lock your doors. Renters and homeowners should always keep their doors and windows locked, even when they’re at home. This includes closing and securing garage doors, gates, and side and back entrances.
  • Keep areas around entrances and walkways trimmed and open. Trimming back hedges and other shrubbery can help eliminate places where thieves can hide. Homeowners should also consider trimming trees that could provide access to second floor windows or balconies.
  • Install security lights. Motion-sensing security lights are a homeowner’s best tool against nighttime break-ins. Be sure that security lights cover all of the approaches to your home, including all walkways and any dark corners.
  • Put away expensive items. Expensive items like grills, bikes, and even cars should always be kept secure in the house or garage after use.

Install smart security features

While there are plenty of practical steps consumers can take to protect their homes, an even better option might be to invest in some smart home security features.

When it comes to these tools, it’s important that consumers do their research to find which products will work best for them. For example, consumers may want to contact several companies and compare products and prices before installing a security system. 

Other technologies -- such as electronic locks, smart lights, and video cameras – can help consumers stay on top of their home’s security, both at home and remotely. Consumers can find more information on these and other top home security gadgets here.

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