The Security of the home is a point of paramount significance to all homeowners. Burglary is one of the most common crimes committed in the United States. It is estimated that every 15 seconds, someone falls victim to this felony. Knowing that a criminal has violated their personal living space, homeowners can become fearful and feel insecure in their own homes. Worrying about whether or not your home is safe can affect the whole family's feeling of security. Together, the family can make some simple changes that may help deter a felon from entering their home. Helpful hints to secure your home against burglary: Do not leave valuables lying around in plain sight, inside or outside of the house. This could be an open invitation to thieves. Personal belongings that would be tempting to a burglar should be kept out of sight in a secure location. There is a wide variety of home safes available today that provide secure storage. It is also important to protect your belongings outside of the home. Leaving expensive items such as toys, bicycles, or tools unattended in an easily accessible area of your yard is an unsafe practice. The criminal mind is always looking for a quick pick ! Be aware of how much personal information your trash can provide. After purchasing a new appliance or electronic device, avoid placing the box in its entirety out with your trash. Cut it up, place it in a large trash bag, or bring it to a recycling center. To a criminal this is great advertisement that there is an brand new plasma TV in your house! Burglars tend to come around when no one is home. If they get the impression someone is home, it discourages them from entering. Therefore, when leaving the home, it is best to create an illusion that someone is still there. Leave on some music, a lamp by your favorite chair and maybe your coffee cup on the table. When you need to be away from your home for an extended period, the use of timers on the inside and outside lights will improve the authenticity that someone is actually home. The minimal amount of electricity that you will be burning to implement these safety measures will be well worth it if you can deter a break in. Securing all possible entry points of your home is also key. Older sliding doors and windows may need to be secured with an extra measure of protection as some can be easily popped off. Bulkheads and basement doors need to be locked and secured to avoid easy access. Window air conditioning units can be easily removed allowing quick access if not installed securely. An unlocked door on an attached garage can be open invitation to a criminal. Keeping your doors locked may not deter all break ins, but it is a simple step to take in making your home more secure. Although it may seem like a good idea to leave a spare key under the doormat, this type of behavior should be avoided. Most burglars are aware of the common hiding places and will quickly locate your "hidden" key. A safer option is to give a spare key to a trusted neighbor or friend. You can keep a spare key hidden in your vehicle or secured with a combination lock somewhere outside of the home. Remember, never place any information that identifies your house on the key just in case it ever ends up in the wrong hands. There are many things a homeowner can do to keep their home safe. Fortunately there is also a wide variety of home security systems available for individuals that desire a higher level of security. Taking the preventative measures that you can and seeking the guidance of a security system professional is the best way to confirm your home secure.