BOISE – With the start of the spring and summer travel season fast approaching, AAA is reminding homeowners to take steps to protect their property from theft.

“In many cases, home break-ins are crimes of opportunity.  If you can slow a thief down or make your house a less-appealing target, they’ll usually move on to easier pickings,” says AAA Idaho public affairs director Matthew Conde.  “As good as your home defense strategy may be, it’s also wise to make sure your insurance policy adequately protects your valuables.  A simple policy review with your insurance agent can help you identify any gaps in coverage.”

According to the Insurance Information Institute, if burglars think it will take more than four or five minutes to break into a home, they tend to move on.

Here are some of AAA’s tips to help secure your home:

  • Trim trees and bushes near doors and windows that could provide cover for burglars.
  • Install motion sensor lights and exterior lighting that shines on potential hiding places.
  • Look objectively at your home.  How or where would you attempt to break in?
  • Secure exterior doors with a locking knob and deadbolt.
  • Make valuables less conspicuous from outside view.
  • Consider investing in a burglar alarm.
  • Temporarily stop mail, and ask a friend or neighbor to mow or water your lawn if you’ll be gone for an extended period of time.
  • Don’t discuss your vacation plans or post pictures from your trip online until you return.
  • Create a home inventory so that if you need to file a claim, you have photos and other information to make the process easier.
  • Review police department websites for more helpful tips.

“Home security doesn’t need to be complicated, but it needs to be thorough,” Conde said.  “You’ll have greater peace of mind on your summer adventure if you’ve made an effort to reduce the chances of a home break-in.”