It's vacation season here in Minnesota. Those of us who are lucky enough to get away from the cold will be leaving our homes at risk for unwanted visitors.
Here are six ways to help prevent a home burglary:
1. Replace the screws in your door strike plates.
When home builders put in your doors, the plates are usually installed with half inch screws. This makes it pretty easy for someone to kick in your door. Replace the small screws with 4-inch ones.
2. Alarm Systems (real or fake!)
Hooking up an alarm system is obviously a great way to prevent break-ins, but they can be costly. A good alternative is just to make people THINK you have an alarm system. Buy a dummy alarm company sign or sticker on Amazon or Ebay.
3. Cameras (again, real or fake!)
Cameras are a good deterrent for burglars. As with alarms, cameras can get spendy. So if you're not ready to invest in a real camera, go ahead and order a fake one online.
4. Keep the lights on
Either keep a few of your lights on while you're gone (indoor and outdoor), or put your lights on a timer. There's even a "Fake TV" that you can buy so people think you're home watching TV!
5. Keep your vacation a secret
It's hard not to brag to all of your friends on Facebook about your sunny, tropical vacation while they're back home in freezing Minnesota. It's even harder not to post picture after picture of palm trees and your feet in the sand. Wait until you get home to make your friends jealous. Or if you just can't help yourself, at least go over your social media's privacy settings. Turn your location preferences off and make sure your privacy settings are private so strangers can't see your posts.
6. Make it look like you are home
Don't let newspapers and flyers collect on your doorstep or mail build up in your mailbox. If you're going to be gone for a while, make sure someone is available to shovel or plow your sidewalks and driveway or keep your grass trimmed.
BONUS: Exchange phone numbers with your neighbors. They can help keep an eye on your home and let you know of any suspicious activity or of any emergencies.
For more home tips and tricks, contact the Realty Edge Team at 507-218-9700 or go to www.rochesterrealtyedgeteam.com. And find us on Facebook!