Ah, it’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. But, don’t make it easy for a thief to steal your valuables! As the weather gets warmer, it often opens the door to an increase in residential burglaries.  We tend to be more active this time of year – working in the yard, walking in the neighborhood, making a quick trip to the store – and with all the increased activity, we may let our guard down a bit. Here are few tips for a safer summer.
In the House: 
Most thefts/burglaries can be prevented by being vigilant and not allowing yourself to be an easy target. When you leave your house, make sure all doors and windows are securely locked. If you leave any windows open for ventilation, use a “sash pin” that allows them to be opened only to a maximum of four inches. 
Even if you are leaving for a short time, lock up –  thieves are opportunistic and can strike when least expected. You will want your home and property to have an overall “secure look,” which serves as a good deterrent and makes your home less attractive for a potential burglar.
In the Yard: 
Part of the joy of summer is the ability to spend more time in the yard. This can include the use of valuable items such as lawn mowers, grills, garden tools, bicycles and other recreational equipment. The key is to keep these items out of sight and/or locked up when not in use, so they are not easily “walked off with.” It’s a good idea to use an electric engraver to mark your tools and equipment with identification numbers. 
When working in the backyard, do not leave the front door open or unlocked. If you have a garage and it’s out of your line of sight while working in the yard, it’s best to keep it locked. Ladders, especially, should be kept in a garage or shed, and if left outside, secured with a lock and chain. Easy access to a ladder could allow a thief to enter an unlocked window that might otherwise be unreachable.
In the Car: 
While driving, always keep the doors locked and seat belts fastened. 
When parked, don’t leave anything visible inside the car that is going to attract the attention of a possible thief. Stash all such items out of sight or locked up in the trunk. 
A car parked in the sun with the windows rolled up can quickly exceed 120 degrees. It is imperative to never leave children or pets unattended in the car. 
When transporting young children, use an approved child car seat. Devise your own “security check” so that you always remember to remove your child from the car seat.
Enjoy the warm season, but be vigilant and mindful of your surroundings to help ensure a safe summer!

Nick Morris is the owner of the Safety & Security Store at 622 Baxter Avenue. He can be reached at (502) 587-8273.