IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – According to a recent report from Allstate Insurance Company, there are more home burglaries committed across Texas on August 10 than any other day throughout the year. The date edges out October 1 and January 1 as the day when most Texans file home burglary insurance claims. The report looked at claims filed between 2010 and 2012.
Allstate cites summer vacations as the biggest contributor to the spike in early August home burglaries. Many families in Texas take trips in the summer, and may not properly prepare their homes for the extended time away. “Home burglaries can happen anywhere, anytime. It’s important to be aware of what makes your home more attractive to thieves,” said Allstate agent Robin Czarnek from San Antonio, “and take simple steps to safeguard your family from this potential threat.”
Electronics, jewelry and cash are the biggest targets during home burglaries, police said.
Thieves will seek out houses which look empty and inspect them to be sure. Large amounts of mail in the mailbox, newspapers piled up on the front lawn, and a collection of door hanging advertisements left untouched can all be a signal to criminals. Suspects will typically knock on the home’s door or peek in open windows to be sure that there is not a resident inside.
If nobody is there, a thief can kick open the home’s door, take expensive belongings and flee from the scene within just a few minutes.
Allstate agents offered five helpful tips to help vacationing families avoid thieves while away from home.
- Lock your doors and windows, even if you are just away from home for a couple of minutes. Steel doors and deadbolt locks offer the best security. You should also make sure that your garage door is closed and locked, as this is a common entry point for criminals.
- An alarm system is a great way to deter crime, especially if used consistently. Your home alarm should include motion sensors and a loud siren. And use the signs or decals offered by your alarm system provider to advertise the fact that your home is protected.
- Do not tell everybody that you are planning to be on vacation, especially on Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites. That news can travel fast, and simply informs possible criminals that your home will be empty. However, you should try to find a trusted friend or family member who can pick up mail, newspapers and packages or advertisements left on the doorstep.
- Small valuables (like cash and jewelry) should be kept out of sight. Larger items (like electronics) should not be visible from the street.
- Keep a record of your valuables. That way, if your home were to be burglarized while you were away, you can more easily determine what is missing and more quickly file a claim.
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