School will be back in session soon. Many of us will be trying to sneak in some vacation time before that happens, but don’t be a victim while you are away from home.
In this week’s segment, we talked to SCMPD Crime Prevention Officer Marvin Williams about how to keep your home and belongings safe.
First, you should notify your neighbors if you feel you can trust them.
“Let them know that you are going to be away. They can keep an eye on your home. If they see something out of the ordinary, something unusual, they can notify authorities, they can notify you,” Williams said.
Also, stop mail service or get someone to pick those letters and newspapers up.
“Have your mail delivered to an alternative address; something that will not allow for the buildup of trash or media outside of your home. That is a signal for
someone outside your house that this home is empty,” he advised.
Use a timer to set your lights to come on.
“If you have programmable timers that can be activated at different times of the day to make it look more random, do so. It gives the sense of the home being lived in," said Officer Williams.
As tempting as it can be, don’t post your travel plans or vacation fun on social media until you’re back in town.
“Yes, your friends will see what you are doing. However, their network sees and their friends' networks will see it, and you don’t know everyone in the network, so don’t provide any opportunity for someone who might have bad intentions to know that you are not home. It makes your home an easy target. Post those pictures, post those videos once you return home.”
You can also request extra police patrols. Obviously, they can’t be there all the time, but they will know that home should be vacant and that will hopefully help them interdict more quickly if suspicious activity is noticed.
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