Thursday, December 21, 2006
Don't Be a Victim: Protecting your home while traveling
Many of us will be heading on a plane, train or automobile for the holidays. But beware: while you're gone, your home could be a target. Tom Haynes shows us how to keep our homes safe in tonight's Don't Be A Victim.
Sgt. Michael Frevola of the Coral Gables Police Department says in his city, you can even ask the police to watch your house.
Sgt. Frevola: "We'll keep a check on your house as often as we can."
Would-be robbers are looking for places to target this time of year. They canvas neighborhoods, looking for clues that someone is out of town. So, you need help from your neighbors to turn robbers the other way.
Sgt. Frevola: "Say, 'Hey, can you move my truck around my driveway?' Don't leave it parked in the same spot for 7 to 10 days."
A car parked in one spot for days is a clear sign that no one is home.
Papers stacked outside are like a neon sign to crooks. The old school thought was to stop the mail and paper. Now, crooks know to look for a mail carrier passing by a house.
Sgt. Frevola: "We don't want people to cancel their newspapers or put a stop on their mail. Get your community, get your neighbor or get a friend or a family member to come by and get the stuff out of your mail box or out of your yard."
You don't want a dark house every night either. Put lights on timers.
Sgt. Frevola: "Timers are great. They are a very cheap and inexpensive item you can buy at a store. Your lights will come on when you program them to."
Motion sensors on your outside lights are also a good idea. A travel tip many people don't think about are luggage tags.
Sgt. Frevola: "Don't put your home address on your luggage tags, because you never know whose handling your luggage."
Crooks can pull your home address off, and they know you'll be gone at least through Christmas.
Instead, use a business card. Just make sure your work knows how to get ahold of you in case you have a lost bag.
Traveling can be stressful enough, so make sure your home sweet home stays safe and sound when you are gone.
Sgt. Frevola: "The last thing we want for anyone to have happen is when they get home from their Christmas holiday, they don't want to walk into a burglarized home. So again, do all the things we recommended, and don't be a victim."
This may seem obvious, but also make sure you lock all your windows and doors before you leave.