Going on Vacation? Here's How to Prevent Break-Ins and Keep Your Home Safe While You're Gone

Before you head out for that hard-earned trip to the shore or mountains, take a moment to batten down the hatches at home. Summertime is peak season for house thefts, according to the Burglary Prevention Council, which keeps statistics on where intruders break in. The good news: You don't need an expensive high-tech alarm system. A few well-placed (and well-priced) locks and security devices will do the trick. Here are the top target areas and forced-entry points, and how to secure them.

See other ways to protect your home from break-ins at THISOLDHOUSE.COM.

Target #1: Front Door, 34% of Break-Ins
Most break-ins occur here, so invest in a solid, pick-resistant deadbolt lock (and remember to lock it!). An added step: Keep your outdoor entry light on a timer so it illuminates your house at night.

Smartkey, $30; Kwikset

MORE: All About Entry Locksets

Target #2: First-Floor Windows, 23% of Break-Ins

You'll need sash locks, of course, but easy-to-reach windows should get double protection. This wireless alarm system sounds off every time a window is opened to scare away would-be intruders.

GE Wireless Alarm System kit with 3 battery-operated alarms, $30; Jasco Products

MORE: Child Home Safety Musts

Target #3: Side Entry, 22% of Break-Ins

If you have sliding glass doors, install a solid metal jammer that folds up when not in use to keep them from being lifted off their tracks.

Adjustable Security Bar, $30; Improvements

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See even more important break-in prevention tips on THISOLDHOUSE.COM.