Precautions should always be taken when it comes to the safety of you and your family. As a homeowner, be aware that your house is a potential target for a break in. Burglaries are one of the most preventable crimes, yet a burglar breaks into a home once every 15 seconds in the U.S. Preparing your home should be a top priority, and these tips will help you protect the people you care about.

Don’t Let People Know You’re Away

The first thing burglars look for is an unoccupied home, as this is the easiest type of house to break into. Turn the ringer on your phone down, because a ringing phone can indicate that no one is home. Automated light systems can create the illusion that someone is home and are a great addition to your home security. These lights can be programmed to simulate the usual routine throughout the night, which will discourage a burglar. Park your car in the garage whenever you’re home so when you’re away, people won’t know that you aren’t home. If you plan on being gone for a long period of time, ask a trustworthy neighbor to keep an eye on your place and pick up your mail.

Assure that it’s Difficult to Break In

Always lock every window and door in your house when you’re gone. For sliding glass doors, place a rod in the track for added security. If you hide a key outside, keep it somewhere where it can’t be easily found. Strengthen your deadbolt and lockset by installing a Grade 1 deadbolt, a four-screw strike plate box, and a lockset strike plate box. If you feel this is something you can’t do on your own, hire a professional to install them for you. Garage entry doors should be given the same attention as the front and back door. Reinforce glass panels on your door with an invisible security film. Ladders shouldn’t be left around for access, and be sure that tree limbs and branches are trimmed if you have a home with more than one story.

Implement a Home Security System

A security alarm system for your home is the best defense against intruders. Go with a system that has motion-sensing technology and locks all doors and windows. Think about installing glass break sensors that will sound the alarm if anyone tries to break through glass windows or doors. Use the yard sign and window decals that say you’re using a home security system; this alone can dissuade a potential intruder. Make sure you and your family memorize your pass code. Never give out the passcode to anyone and don’t leave the code around where it can be seen.