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Good summer weather means it’s peak shopping season for a burglar. Before you head off to work or to a nice vacation, make sure you know how a burglar would think about your home’s security. It’s not so tough to figure out. Police stats show that crooks are creatures of habit…and here are some of their favorite weak spots and strategies.

First Stop — Front Door

The Draw...

Their first instinct? Try the front door. About 34% of all break-ins happen here, and more than 40% happen without even having to use force! A thief loves a house with dim lighting, or hedges that shroud it from the street. Mail bursting out of the box is another invitation.

Did You Know?

$2,120 The average dollar loss when a burglar steals from a home

...and the Fix

Lock your front door. Try a solid dead bolt they can’t easily pick. Keep it well-lit and visible to passersby, and consider motion-sensor lights. When you travel, ask your neighbors to pick up your mail every day or have the Postal Service hold your delivery.

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Around the Side

The Draw...

Thieves have to do their work quickly. So the second most popular spot makes perfect sense. If your front door isn’t open, they walk around to the windows and nearest side entrances. Twenty-two percent of break-ins happen here. The more criminal camouflage you’ve got — trees, shrubbery, walls — the easier their jobs will be.

...and the Fix

Light the sides of your house, with motion-sensor fixtures. Neatly trim foliage. Install jamming rods on easily accessed sliding doors and windows.

The Risky Garage

The Draw...

The third most popular form of entry carries a lot of risk to the burglar — but it’s often the least protected entry. That’s the garage door. Sure, it’s big and usually visible from the street, but once they’re inside, there’s plenty of cover for them to figure out where to go next. Garage doors can also be very easy to open. For many roll-up garage doors, a thief can just thread a piece of wire through the crack at the top of the door and pull the emergency latch.

...and the Fix

The safest garage doors are made of solid core wood or reinforced steel and secured by side-mounted deadlocks that can only be reached from the inside.