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Holiday Safety Tips: What You Should (and Shouldn't) Do Before You Leave Your Home

It might be tempting, but one safety tip warns people about something they may do often on Facebook.

As families gather together for the holidays, Police Departments are reminding residents to be wary of burglars and thieves who will take advantage of vacant homes.

But there are some things some people do often, and they don't even realize they are putting themselves at risk for a home burglary. For example, while you might be excited about your upcoming holiday vacation, don't announce it on Facebook or any other social media site. Announcing your vacations on a public social media forum like Facebook is an advertisement for thieves to rob your home, according to police. Glendora Police have encountered home burglary cases where thieves were tipped from Facebook status updates.

The spare key in the flower pot or under the door mat? Burglars will often look for those hidden spare keys, say police.

Police also offer these tips and precautions before you leave your home this holiday season:

  • Be cautious about locking your doors and windows when you leave the house, even if only for minutes.  Burglars prefer entering through unlocked doors and windows where there is less chance of them being heard than if they have to force their way in
  • Don’t openly display your gifts in the front window facing the street which may tempt burglars to smash and grab
  • Burglars look for occupancy cues like newspapers piled up out front or flyers hanging on the front door knobs to determine if anyone is home or not
  • Use inexpensive lights and timers while you are away.  Set them to go on and off during the times you are normally home
  • Have a radio set to talk radio on while you are out
  • Burglars look in obvious places for hidden keys, under the mat, flowerpot or door ledge. Instead, give a spare key to a trusted neighbor
  • Have a trusted neighbor collect your mail and newspapers
  • Don’t advertise on social media websites that you are away from home or on vacation.
  • Look out for one another.  If you know your neighbor is away, call the Police if you see someone paying attention to their house
  • If you are going to be away for more than a day or two, contact your local Police Department and inquire about a vacation house check

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