Allstate is a paid sponsor of Sonoran Living.
More homes in Arizona are broken into during January than any other month, according to new data from Allstate Insurance Company .
"Whether you're out running everyday errands or enjoying a vacation, it's important to protect your home and belongings from unwanted attention while you're gone," says Alicia Gonzales, an Allstate spokesperson.
Follow these tips to deter thieves:
1. Landscape for security - Landscaping may help beautify your home, but it can also help ward off intruders. Planting thorny bushes under windows may discourage an attempt to gain access into your home. You can also install landscape lighting, like motion-activated lights, to serve as a deterrent.
2. Prevent package thieves - Online shopping has its advantages, but doorstep deliveries may tempt thieves. You can work with most delivery companies to secure your packages by requesting a text when a delivery is made, requiring a signature or simply asking packages be left in a less-prominent location.
3. Keep valuables hidden - If a passerby can see inside your home, and get an instant inventory of your valuables, then a criminal can, too. Try rearranging your furnishings so they're less visible from a door or window. That also goes for garage openers and car keys, which, in many homes, frequently sit on a shelf or hang from a hook near an entry. Store these inside a cabinet or drawer to keep them hidden from view.
4. Reinforce entry points - Upgrade your exterior doors to metal or solid wood, and make sure they're at least 1 and 3/4 inches thick. Windows can be protected with locks or burglar-resistant glass. If your home has sliding glass windows or doors, reinforce them with a metal bar. A security alarm is also helpful.
5. Keep a digital record of your belongings - If you're an Allstate customer, you can download the Allstate Mobile app and start using Digital Locker , which helps you create a home inventory. If you're not a customer, take pictures of valuable items in your house and create a special folder on your computer or phone - and be sure to back it up to the cloud. Keeping a record of your personal property makes filing claims easier in the event of a loss.
6. Practice safe behaviors - You should routinely lock doors and windows and arm the alarm system when exiting your home. If you'll be gone awhile, try to give off the appearance that your home is occupied: Leave blinds in their usual positions, plan to defer mail and other deliveries, and use light timers in various areas of the home.
Allstate encourages Arizonans who have questions about prevention tips or their home insurance coverage to reach out to their local insurance agent.