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AlarmWell, vacation time is fast approaching, and I wanted to hopefully help you reduce the chances of being broken into while you were away. I am here to help you if you do have a homeowners claim, but — let's face it — I would rather talk with you on issues other than having someone taking your stuff. However, that is one of the reasons why we want to help you protect your stuff.

The most popular month to be burglarized is July. Surprise! That is when most people take a vacation. Of the homes that are successfully burglarized, 60% have alarm systems; food for thought.

One of the best ways to keep thieves away is to have a big scary dog, which is prone to growling and showing their teeth. My Mike does not really qualify as big or scary, he is basically a lover with an attitude, which won't do us much good in this case.

Keep your plants trimmed down so no one can hide behind them and so that your doorway is visible from the street. Believe it or not, most burglars go through the front door — and their second favorite target is the garage door. If you live on a cul-de-sac, remember the police do not drive those as much as the regular streets.

I suggest also turning the power off on your garage door opener and putting a lock on it while you are gone. The burglar will have to fight the garage door open; if they try to get in and if you pad locked it that should do it. Tell your neighbors you are going away — just in case a strange truck parks in your driveway and starts hauling your big screen, couch, fish tank, and elliptical out.

If you have a MySpace, Twitter or Instagram account, you might not want to post your vacation pictures until you get back and make sure you have turned off your geo-locator setting, so people do not know the longitude and latitude of your pictures. You can buy inexpensive timers and set lights in different parts of your house to turn off and on at different times. This will fool most of these dishonest people. If you're really ambitious you could take a page from the movie "Home Alone" — you have to see it to see what this kid rigs up to keep his house safe, but this might be a little over the top.

Secure your sliding doors with a thick dowel rod or some sort of stick by laying it in the track between the front sliding door and the wall so when someone tries and opens your door it cannot actually slide back since the stick is in the way. This keeps the thief from lifting up the door and sliding it back.

Put a hold on your mail, and if you are one of the few people who still get a newspaper, stop that while you are out. Piled up mail and newspapers are a dead give away that you are not there.

In the event that you still have the misfortune of getting robbed this summer, remember to put together a home inventory before you leave for vacation; the sooner the better. Go to the IOS App Store or Google Play Store and get the Colgrove App — yes we have an App! Once downloaded, click on the Home Inventory button, then click on Customize — it will allow you to type in the room/area such as kitchen or master bedroom. Then below this you can take pictures of the stuff that is in that room. Get Shots of serial numbers as well if your items have these. Pictures go along way and are invaluable in showing the insurance company what you had. Plus if you need to get a hold of us we are just an app away.

I hope this helps give you some ideas. I am sure you have thought about most of these things. We have a great brochure from the police department if you would like even more tips. I can now go get a Guinness, wings, and relax knowing that your home is hopefully safer and you are enjoying your summer vacation.

*****

Make sure you have the right home insurance coverage. Call Colgrove Financial at (480) 830-2595 for more information on Arizona home insurance.
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555 W Chandler Blvd. Suite 203
Chandler, AZ 85225
Phone: 480.830.2595
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