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The long-awaited summer season is here: Kids are out of school, store shelves are lined with grilling supplies, and the smell of sunscreen permeates the air. The sunny, warm weather provides ideal conditions for relaxing outdoors with friends and family.

Here are a few tips for safely enjoying fun-in-the-sun all summer long.

Grill Safely

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), grilling is a major source of home fires during the summer months. Each year, there are nearly 8,300 home fires caused by gas, charcoal or solid-fueled grills. To ensure the results of your cookout are delicious, not disastrous, remember these tips:

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

Hot time for burglars

You aren’t the only one with a jam-packed schedule for the next few months; burglars tend to be busier too. The FBI reports that during June, July and August, burglaries increase by as much as 16 percent. Many homes are seen as easy targets because homeowners tend to take vacations and spend more time outdoors during the summer season. But you don’t have to be a part of the statistic; here are a few ways to safeguard your valuables whether you’re 1,000 miles away on vacation or just down the street at a pool party.

  • Keep your whereabouts under wraps. Hold off on posting pictures and updating your status on social networking websites until you get home. Burglars are notorious for trolling these websites in search of information that can lead them to an empty home.
  • Discourage burglary at home with a monitored security system. A recent study proved that security systems and surveillance equipment are effective deterrents against burglary.
  • Deny easy access to your home by locking doors and windows anytime you exit your home. Most burglars enter a home through open windows or doors or by forcing them open.
  • Keep an eye on your home by enlisting help from technology. Enhanced security systems like Anet 24 give you the power to set the alarm, lock doors, receive alerts and view live video all from your smart phone.

No matter what’s on your agenda this summer, the safety of your family should always be on the top of your list. With these tips, you can spend quality time with your family and friends all summer long.