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Going on Vacation

Tips for Keeping Houston Apartment Communities Safe
Renters Resource, your apartment locator in Houston, recognizes that protecting your possessions is of utmost importance to you. While most of us relish the summer months because it's time spent on vacation and camping trips with family and friends, burglars also delight in June, July, and August—Houston apartment residents are away, some leaving their retreat apartments in Houston as easy targets. Most communities across the United States will experience a 10 to 18 percent in apartment burglaries during the months of June, July, and August, with most tending to occur in August, according to FBI statistics.

"A significant number of break-ins could be prevented with simple precautions such as canceling a newspaper delivery to your apartment, placing timers on lamps and having a neighbor take in the mail," said Lauren Russ, executive director of the Burglary Prevention Council (BPC), a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public on crime prevention. Make sure your apartment locator in Houston can help you handle these easy precautions.

Protecting Retreat Apartments in Houston and Other Houston Apartment Communities
Some 28 percent of burglaries are made without force, meaning through an open door or window of the apartment, which underscores the importance of locking your doors and windows, even if you're only away for five minutes.

Of the 1.2 million burglaries that occur each year, many are avoidable. In fact, nine out of 10 apartment break-ins could have been prevented if apartment residents knew how to burglarproof their apartments, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).

Securing your Houston apartment whether you're home or away for just a few minutes could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars; the average loss per residential burglary hovers around the $1,300 mark.

Light, time, and noise are an apartment resident’s greatest weapons in the fight to prevent an apartment burglary, according to the III.

Tips to follow before you go on vacation
Examine your apartment from the street and make sure no valuables, like expensive electronics or artwork, is visible from the street. If a passerby can see your belongings, so can criminals.

Lock and fasten all doors and windows. Outside doors of the apartment should have deadbolt locks with a one-inch throw and reinforced strike plate. Secure sliding glass doors. Place a metal rod or piece of plywood in the track to prevent an intruder from forcing the door of the apartment open.

Always lock the door to your attached garage if you have one.

Make it appear that you're home - use timers on lights, radios, and televisions. Never leave clues that you are away. Ask a neighbor at your apartment complex to collect your mail and newspapers or ask for them to be held. You may also want to ask a neighbor to park in your driveway so it appears someone is home.

Keep some shades and blinds up and curtains open in your apartment to keep a normal appearance.

Never leave a message on your answering machine saying you are on vacation.

Organize or join a community watch program to protect your neighborhood.

And, of course, if you have an apartment security system, make sure it is activated when you leave. The more difficult you make it for the intruder to access your apartment, the less likely he or she will be to pursue forcing their way into your apartment.

In fact, the FBI says that if it takes a burglar more than four or five minutes to break into your apartment, they'll move on to the next one.

In addition, most insurance companies provide 2 to 15 percent discounts for devices that make an apartment safer - dead-bolt locks, window grates, bars and smoke/fire/burglar alarms.

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