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There are a number of things you can do to secure your home from robbery. Whether you are on vacation or just want to protect your family, it is important that you take these steps. In addition to preventing burglaries, these measures can also keep your valuables safe.

1. Create a fake presence of someone home in your house while you are away

Even if you are going to be gone for a few days, you can still make it appear that you are there by keeping the lights on. You might even leave a radio on.

2. Trim trees and shrubs around the outside of your home to deter trespassers from hiding under them.

3. Organize your mailbox for when you are away to discourage crooks from stealing mail.

4. Have a dependable neighbor collect your mail while you are away, or have it forwarded or held by the post office.

5. Mow your lawn or hire a professional to do so before you go on vacation.

6. Have a reliable neighbor come to check your house while you are away, or have it forwarded.

7. Put timers on your lights so that they turn on at certain times in different rooms of the house, to create the illusion that you are home.

8. Place motion detectors in the front and back of your house, and at the entrances to dark spots on your property.

9. Install strong locks on your doors and windows, including deadbolts and smart locks.

The most common entry points for burglars are doors, and a strong door is a must to prevent a break-in. Upgrade your front and back doors to thick wood and add a deadbolt or other type of security device.

Ensure that the lock on your garage door is secure, too. The key to securing your garage is a high-quality, well-made lock that will resist a determined burglar.

Use a peephole to watch the door before you open it, and consider adding a wide-angle viewer so you can identify anyone approaching from the street.

If you have sliding glass doors, choose a locking device that doesn’t allow the glass to swing out from the door frame. Sliding doors present a unique challenge to a thief because they can easily be opened with a screwdriver or other tool.

You might also install a window alarm system, which activates if there is any movement inside your home. This can be a huge deterrent and alerts you, neighbours and passers-by to potential crime.

10. Install an alarm and call the police immediately if you have any suspicious activity at your house while you are away.

11. Avoid leaving spare keys in the house, under the doormat or in an obvious spot.

12. Never label your house keys with your name or address, as these are easily recognizable by burglars.

13. Keep a lock on your car, and don’t drive it with your keys in it while you are away.