Shorter days this time of year create more of an opportunity for home break-ins. Here are ways to keep the bad guys away from your home:

Install exterior flood lights with motion sensors. This is an effective deterrent since the bad guys don’t want to be seen.

Keep doors and windows locked. Use a dowel to prevent sliding windows and doors from being opened.

Don’t “advertise” your absence. When you’re going away, have a friend or neighbor pick up packages, mail and newspapers. Avoid posting your plans on social media.

Eliminate hiding spots. Make it inconvenient for anyone to break-in by keeping shrubbery trimmed around your home.

Use an alarm system. The emphasis is on using yours if you have one. If not, consider a system that notifies law enforcement if there’s a break-in. You may earn a discount on your homeowners policy if you have a monitored system.

Upgrade exterior door locks. If your locks don’t include a deadbolt, it’s a good idea to have one installed. Electronic locks that can be monitored and controlled on a smartphone can be helpful, particularly when you’re away and forgot to lock a door.