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How to Help Prevent a Home Break-in, Advice From a Professional

Five low-and high-tech tips to help protect your home when you’re away

Depending on who you ask, the most well-known movie about a home robbery has to be "Home Alone." Set during Christmas time and well before sophisticated smart home solutions were invented, the movie features a family who goes on vacation and leaves their home unattended (they also leave behind a child – but let's not follow that plot line).

For the sake of this article, let's explore the 'vacant home during vacation' element, as it's a more plausible scenario. Whether you're traveling or if you have a second home, your unattended house can be an invitation to home burglars. And, research shows that homes with a security system are less likely to be burglarized than those without.

Preventia, a home security company serving the residents of Tennessee, is a Resideo Premier Security Dealer. It has seen massive growth and adoption over the last two years – in fact it was Resideo's Rookie of the year in 2019 and in 2020 it was named Resideo's Premier Security Dealer of the Year. During the last year specifically, Preventia's customers have new concerns, which have shifted as a result of people changing their routines.

"We’ve seen people that weren’t concerned about daytime break-ins suddenly want protection for while they are "home alone" working," said Aaron Whitaker, Owner of Preventia. "We’ve also seen people feel more comfortable during the day, but more concerned when they travel."

Aaron Whitaker's photo

Aaron Whitaker, Owner of Preventia

Preventia store front

Each customer has their own level of security needs, and professional security companies, like Preventia, work to understand each customers' concerns and design a system to resolve those needs

Ways to Reduce Risk, Harden the Target
"Burglars are looking for easy targets, none of them are looking to get caught," Whitaker said. "They are savvy and notice many small details and obvious signs that you aren’t home – no lights on, garbage cans at the end of your driveway, packages piling up on the front step – or the simple mistake of not locking up often get people in trouble."

Here are five ways the experts at Preventia say can help protect your home when you're away:

1. Think like a burglar. Every home is unique, and no one knows it better than the owner. Imagine you needed to break into your home. How would you do it? A seasoned burglar is going to find that same way, so take proactive steps to prevent it: for example, put away spare ladders, put your cars in the garage or at least ensure they are locked (but hide garage door openers) or add motion lights and cameras in the backyard, which is often times out of sight from neighbors.

2. Check your windows. If you have a window that's concealed (covered by hedges), out of sight or easily accessible, ensure they are locked, or add window sensors so it makes it difficult to open. Preventia offers these security tips for securing your windows:

3. Update your front door with a Key-Free Electronic Deadbolt. This is a big favorite at Preventia because of the combination security and convenience benefits. You can set it up to lock when your system is armed and not worry about carrying keys or hiding one outside.

4. Install Indoor and Outdoor Cameras. Another one of Preventia's most-popular recommendation are surveillance cameras because they offer deterrence for would-be burglars on the exterior and the ability to easily check-in on the home's interior. Don't solely rely on a video doorbell to keep your home safe and protected, he says. "I frequently use indoor cameras to check on service companies allowed in my home while not there," said Whitaker.

5. Use a professionally monitored system. Round out your video offerings and ensure they are monitored by a professional. Whether it's to check in on the home when traveling, or to have some added peace of mind, homeowners have professionally monitored solutions so someone else can keep an eye on the home when they are away and enjoying their vacation. And if you want some control in the palm of your hand, "Resideo Total Connect App is a must have," Whitaker says. For example, if you have a neighbor coming in to feed your cat, you could disarm the system so they can enter and then arm it after they leave.

"Even if you're only running a quick errand or going for a bike ride around the neighborhood, it’s still important to lock up the house, close the garage and arm your security system," Whitaker says. And consider asking a trusted neighbor to help keep an eye on your home when you're away for an extended period of time and bring in any packages you may receive.

While home break-ins are no laughing matter – let's be clear there – they do make for interesting drama when the burglars are stopped. And just think how different the Home Alone plot and the McCallisters family’s experience could have been, if they had a modern, professionally installed and monitored system.

For more info about professional security solutions, and to find a security dealer that can help you, visit Resideo.com/findapro.