As I monitor the news in the area, I am seeing plenty of homes being broken into and vehicles, as well. The disheartening thing is that we work to build a better life for our family, and someone decides they want to come and take those things we worked for.

While there is unfortunately no foolproof way of stopping thefts from happening, here are five things you may want to take into consideration when it comes to the safety of your family and yourself.

5. Don't announce your vacations on social media. We have all been guilty of doing this. Whether it's the excitement of going on vacation or just getting a break from work, we may disclose this information, which leaves an open target.

4. Trim shrubs and bushes to eliminate hiding spots and never hide keys outside your home. Having high-standing bushes can allow someone to hide out of sight while you try to enter your home. Also, leaving your keys outside under a plant pot or in the mail box is just a tragedy waiting to happen.

3. Install motion sensor lights, deadbolt locks, and upgrade any patio or sliding door locks. With the situation here after two hurricanes, there could have possibly been doors compromised, which puts many in a vulnerable position. As soon as you are able, consider changing locks and maybe even entire doors so your personal belongings and family will be safe from intruders.

2. Keep your windows covered and your garage locked at all times. Leaving your windows uncovered or you garage unlocked is the equivalent of opening your refrigerator and allowing wild animals to just roam the premises. If you keep your windows covered and garage down, it will help prevent people from noticing what you have in your home and possibly detour someone from invading your home.

1. Change passcodes on electronic locks and garage doors from time to time. I would also recommend not giving your codes out to people you don't trust or who don't live there. It is recommended to change them, as occasionally these codes can get into the wrong hands and there you go, falling prey to those wanting to take from you.

These things are not 100% guaranteed, as nothing is. However, it is always great to have a plan and make sure your home is safe and protected. It's always good to possibly invest in a security camera, as well. There is nothing better than having actual footage that can be used to help bring justice to your case.

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