- Lock all exterior doors and windows (including pet doors) before you leave the house or go to bed, even if its for a short time.
- Leave lights on when you go out. If you're going to be away for a length of time, connect lamps to automatic timers to turn on in the evenings and off during the day.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. You can either arrange with the post office to hold your mail or ask a friend or neighbor to collect it for you.
- Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended period of time.
- Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors, as pushbutton locks are easy for burglars to open.
- Sliding glass doors are vulnerable, so consider getting special locks for better security.
- If your keys are lost or stolen, change your locks immediately.
- When moving into a new home, have all the locks changed.
- Make sure you have adequate exterior lighting. Consider getting a motion-sensitive light for the backyard.
- Trim trees and bushes so that they cannot be used as hiding places for burglars.
- Make sure your door hinges are on the interior of your home.
- Keep all personal information, such as passports, financial documents, etc. in a locked, fire proof safe or a safety deposit box.
- Store lock boxes or safes in a hidden area of the house.
- Consider getting an alarm system.
Don't Tempt a Burglar
- Store your lawn mowers, BBQ grills and bicycles out of sight.
- Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
- Store ladders, tools and any other outside objects that could help a burglar gain entry in a locked shed or garage.
- Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
- Never leave notes on your door such as "Gone Shopping."
- Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other "secret" higing places.
- Don't talk about vacation plans in public areas, such as the hair salon, restaurants or shopping malls.
- Before taking out the garbage, shred all papers and breakdown boxes of high value equipment. Brand names on boxes alert burglars of items inside your home.
Your home is not the only target for burglars. Consider these tips for avoiding car break-ins:
- Do not leave valuables in plain view, such as GPS devices, laptops, cell phones, wallets, etc.
- Do not leave windows or the sunroof open.
- Do not leave the doors unlocked, even if for a short period of time.
- Do not leave keys in the vehicle.
- Do not leave out items with personal information.
- Do not move valuable items to the trunk while in public view.
What To Do If Your Home or Car is Broken Into
If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door, do not enter. The burglar may still be inside. Use a cell phone or your neighbor's phone to call the police. Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence. Note any suspicious vehicles or persons.
Once the police have been contacted, be sure to contact your insurance agent at the Lake of the Ozarks. Having a home inventory will help you to record everything that is missing and help you through the claim process. Now is the time to check your policy, before a burglary occurs. Make sure that all your valuables are insured. Some items such as jewelry and art are not covered under a standard homeowners policy. Contact Insure the Lake at 573-348-2794 for all your insurance needs!
Contact Insure the Lake today for all your Lake of the Ozarks home insurance needs!
About the Author: Steve is a double back-flip insurance ninja. He was named Young Insurance Agent of the Year by the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents in 2010 and is a Certified Insurance Counselor. When he is not helping customers, he enjoys community service, Latin dancing with his beautiful wife and going on adventures with his two awesome sons.
Steve Naught, CIC
3736 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065
Next to Golden Coral