Is your home safe from burglars and thieves? Or are you courting them with obvious security lapses and poor planning when you’re away?

More than 2 million homes were burglarized in the United States last year alone. Moreover, more than 60 percent of all residential burglaries took place during the day, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


The average burglary results in a loss of more than $2,000 of property, not to mention the loss of peace of mind and security when you’re home.

But a few simple precautions can keep your home safe while you’re away:

* Lock your doors and windows. Burglars usually don’t have the fancy tools seen on television pliers, screwdrivers and crowbars typically do the trick. Having strong locks on front doors, and keeping ground-level windows locked when you’re not home, are two easy ways to deter the average burglar.


* Make sure your home is well lit. Better yet, use motion-sensing lights thatcome on when movement is detected. They’ll keep you from having to fumble your way to a dark door. Lights, indoors and out, should also be on a timer when you’re away.

* Install wireless security cameras. Motion-sensing cameras with an Internet connection allow you to monitor your home while you’re away via any Internet browser. For example, Panasonic’s BLC210 wireless IP network cameras send an alert to your phone or computer with a photograph when body heat, audio or motion is detected. It also allows users to view real-time video from anywhere in the world using a personalized secure web address provided for free. For more information, visit pana

* Evaluate your home’s surroundings. Don’t inadvertently make it easy for burglars to hide. Keep landscaping neatly trimmed to eliminate hiding places around the house. And careless placement of tools in the backyard, such as ladder, can be used by the burglar to break-in. So be sure to always store tools properly and in secure locations.


* Keep up appearances. Make sure to have the post office hold your mail when you are away. Also, keep your grass watered and cut, along with other landscaping if you are gone for an extended period.

These simple tips and precautions should allow you to rest easier while away and keep your home safe as well.