Tips to keep your home, belongings safe while away for the holidays

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Many families plan to travel this week for Thanksgiving and leave their homes empty.

Knoxville Police said that during this time of year they see an uptick in burglaries in the home, car and parking lots.

KPD Officer John Morgan said there are several ways for people to safeguard their home from being burglarized while they’re away for the holidays.

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Don’t announce on social media your vacation

Morgan said the first thing to do is to not post on social media that you’re about to leave for vacation.

He said some people are on social media looking for those clues and will try to find your home.

“When you get back, that’s the time to put all the pictures on with the family and the friends and whatever you did during that time you were away. That’s the time to post. But not while you’re at those places and posting to where other people can see it, because they might be a friend, and they might not be a good of a friend as you think they are if they know you’re out of town,” Morgan said.

Lock doors, windows; close blinds

Of course, all doors should be locked, but windows should be as well.

Morgan said you should also close your blinds.

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“They like to open those blinds up so people driving by can see those Christmas trees. Well, that starts to advertise a lot inside your house. So don’t have things just right beyond those Christmas trees that are going to advertise that you have, you know, a 75-inch screen TV in your house,” Morgan said.

Surveillance cameras are a good option, but they can also be pricey.

Good, old-fashioned friendly neighbors can almost be just as good, Morgan said.

Friendly neighbors work almost as well as security cams

He said let your trustworthy neighbor know you won’t be home for a while, so if they see any suspicious activity they can call police.

One way to help neighbors know there is suspicious activity going on at your house is motion sensor lights.

Morgan said turning lights on to make it look like you’re home can be a good deterrent against burglars, but motion sensor lights will come on whenever someone or something moves near your home.

Have Post Office hold your mail

If you plan on leaving for more than a week, let the post office know so they can hold your mail or packages.

Morgan said mail or newspapers piling up is another tell-tale sign to burglars that you may not be home.

If you’re going to be gone for more than a week, you can also ask Knoxville Police to check on your home every so often.

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Morgan said officers will drive by to make sure everything looks normal.

If you plan to fly instead of drive, make sure to lock your car. Let your trustworthy neighbor or friend know so they can keep an eye on it.

Morgan said that if you live in an apartment complex, you can ask your property manager to do the same.

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