Although many of today’s homes have security systems, there are further steps a homeowner can take to help prevent intrusion. 

For example, making sure a home appears occupied is an easy way to divert uninvited guests. Invitations to intrusion include notes on the door, un-shoveled snow or an un-mowed lawn, accumulations of mail or newspapers, total interior darkness before a normal bedtime and an empty driveway or carport with no vehicles present.

Make the house look lived in even when away by alternating timed lighting and radios and having neighbors pick up the newspaper or mail is a critical security measure. To discourage intruders, also keep doors and windows locked, especially at basement and first-floor levels or where the home is accessible from a tree, porch or other structure. Inside doors that lead to the basement or garage should also be kept locked.

Remember, these tips are only general guidelines. Since each situation is different, contact a security professional if you have questions about a specific issue.