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Burglars are opportunistic creatures. If they see a vulnerable home, they are going to strike. Overgrown lawns, newspapers piled up in the driveway, a dark and quiet interior – these are clues that tell burglars the owners may be out of town and the home is vacant.

In addition to travelers, though, there is another group of homeowners who should be especially cautious of burglars: Those who are remodeling their homes. Obvious clues include open areas covered solely by tarps, contractors frequently stopping by the house, or workers you don’t know walking in and out of your home. All of these signs point out one thing to a potential burglar – opportunity.

Whether you are ripping up carpet or knocking down walls, it’s important to take security into consideration. If you’re investing time and money to remodel your home, protect that investment by following these simple tips:

Make sure the exterior of your home is well-lit at night. 
Outdoor lighting is especially important if parts of your home are temporarily exposed to the outside. Don’t give intruders the chance to sneak into your home.

Keep the work zone around your home clean and uncluttered.  If you are undertaking a major project, you may have several contractors working on your home with tools strewn about your property even after the work day is over. Burglars can make quick money by stealing easily accessible tools, and may come back to commit a more serious crime, such as burglary. Speak with your contractor and make sure the crew takes or locks up all tools and equipment before leaving each day.

Use a trustworthy contractor for your home renovations. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to hear about dishonest contractors stealing from the homes they are working on. Avoid hiring a dud before signing a contract by checking the company’s references, getting a quote in writing, and thoroughly understanding the terms of your contract. Also, keep an eye on your valuables during the remodeling process to make sure that nothing goes missing.

Keep your alarm company in the loop. 
If you plan on making major structural changes to your home, contact your security company before beginning construction. The changes may affect the way your alarm system works in your home. If you are temporarily staying somewhere besides your home while renovations are taking place, consider increasing your security with cameras. With a camera system you will be able to keep tabs on your property while you are away via a live online video feed viewable via computer, smartphone or tablet.

If you don’t have a security system, maybe it’s time to find some money in the remodeling budget to protect your two most valuable assets: home and family.

Don’t let home remodeling get in the way of your security. These simple tips can help protect your home and family while the dust settles.