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To protect your home, think like a burglar

Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics said — about 75 percent — occur in homes, not offices or stores.

Believe it or not, most happen during the day. The warm months of the year — when many of us go away for vacation — is also prime time for bad guys.

According to security experts, burglars want to spend less than 60 seconds getting into your house. You need to think like they do in order to slow them down.

Here are ways to frustrate them when they arrive at your house. After all, if your house is tough to break into, they may give up and leave the area.

• Add dead-bolted security screen doors to the front and back doors of your house that have tamper-proof hinges with non-removable pins.

• For your main front door, you need a solid core or solid wood door with a deadbolt that has a one-inch throw.

• Make sure all your doors have bump-proof locks. In bumping, a burglar inserts a special key in your lock, strikes it with a hammer, and presto, he can open the door. If your locks are more than a few years old, replace them with newer bump-proof technology.

• Reinforce the doorpost to make kicking in the door as hard as possible.

• Remove or trim any shrubs or trees that make it hard for neighbors to see the front door. Also make sure the entryway is well-lit at night.

• Don’t use hide-a-key devices and don’t hide keys under doormats or potted plants. If you must hide a key somewhere, do it in your neighbor’s yard.

• When moving into a new home, re-key everything and add those bump-proof locks and deadbolts.

• Install wide-angle peepholes in doors that don’t have adjacent windows so you can check on what’s going on outside.

And what about your garage door? Most newer electronic garage door openers do not have codes that burglars can crack, but crooks know how to deactivate your system manually and then raise the garage door, possibly gaining access to your home.

To foil them, remove the opener cord completely. Get a wooden dowel and screw a tea cup hook in the end of it. Place the dowel in a convenient spot in the garage so you can hook it onto the door release mechanism any time that you need it. There are also new locks you can buy to thwart a burglar using your garage door opener.

I have more ideas on how to protect your house when you are away in the summer. Be sure to check out the complete security systems FAQ.

If you have a question on any of these ideas, you can find more advice and do-it-yourself tips, for your house, home, castle or cabin, at every Arizona homeowner’s best friend: RosieontheHouse.com. If you’re looking for the very best contractor or service provider for your home improvement projects, always trust a Rosie-Certified Partner, Arizona’s most-trusted referral network.

Be sure to tune in to KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!