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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s a fact that more home burglaries happen during the summer than any other time of year. But experts say there are simple steps you can take to deter burglars from breaking into your home.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a home in the U.S. is burglarized every 12 seconds and homeowners lose an average of more than $2,000 in possessions and damage costs.

Doug Shupe, with AAA Texas, advises that you make sure your insurance coverage is up to date. “To ensure that your policy provides adequate coverage. [Especially] if you own luxury goods.”

Statistically, there are more home break-ins during July and August. Experts say one of the problems is that people make it easy for thieves by advertising their vacations on social media.

Shupe advises that you, “Never announce your vacation plans on social media. Lock all of your doors and windows before you leave. Use deadbolts, dowels and locking pins on sliding glass doors and windows.”

When it comes to your computer equipment you should also prepare for the worst. What would you do if your computer were stolen? Be sure to backup your digital information and photos and always have your computers password protected.

Don’t ever think burglaries won’t happen in your neighborhood or your part of town. Shupe says taking preventive measures could benefit you in more ways than one. “You want to make sure that, if possible, you can install a monitored alarm system in your home. [By doing so] you may be eligible for a discount on your insurance premium after that system is installed.”

Realize that a lot of thieves are good at what they do. It may only take a cursory inspection for someone with ill intentions to determine if you are just running errand, or if you have left your home for an extended period.

Some of the other tips AAA Texas recommends to help prevent home break-ins this summer:

  1. Keep the exterior of your home and yard well lit with low-wattage outdoor lighting.
  2. Close and lock the garage door.  Side garage doors should be solid, without any glass and equipped with a strong deadbolt.
  3. Stop all deliveries, mail and newspapers, or ask a trustworthy neighbor or friend to pick them up for you.
  4. Use automatic timers with inside lamps and a radio.  Set those devices to come on at random times.
  5. Remove spare keys from outside your home, especially near the front door or under a welcome mat.
  6. Trim bushes in front of entrances, including windows.  Have your lawn mowed while you’re on vacation to avoid the appearance of being away.
  7. Keep some blinds up and curtains open to keep up normal appearances but make sure nothing valuable is in plain view from outside the windows.

Officials say residential burglaries typically occur between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekdays and often last less than 10 minutes.

While neighborhood watch programs and aggressive police patrols certainly help, experts also say the ‘ole school’ dog barking inside the house or in the backyard is also a good crime deterrent.

But, the best defense against burglary is prevention.

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