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Summer safety: Keeping your home safe while you’re away

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 5:10 AM CDT
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NIXA, Mo. (KY3) - With COVID-19 restrictions easing, more of us are gearing up for the summer travel season.

In preparation for your summer travels, police in Nixa share ideas to keep your vacation stress-free and avoid leaving your home an easy target.

Crime Prevention Officer Brent Forgey with Nixa Police Department said your home has everything inside, which is why you have to take your time and double-check everything before you leave. He said if you’re rushing you may forget the most basic yet vital thing, `securing your home.

Officer Forgey said before you leave, make certain your doors, windows, and entry points are secured. He said this includes checking to make sure your alarm system is working and set up properly before you go. Also, take a few extra seconds to see your garage door completely close before you pull off.

“Sometimes if that garage door has a sensor, and something is blocking it can open right back up,” explained Officer Forgey.

Lock all your valuables that are inside and outside the home, including yard tools. You want to avoid leaving items out that will attract possible burglars and be used as means to break into your home. It’s a good idea to keep motion lights on outside your home, and also leave one on inside your home, or on a timer, so it looks like someone is home.

Do not leave spare keys outside, intruders know the obvious spots. Instead, make sure you assign someone as a point of contact and give them a key or code to get inside if needed.

“Is someone watching your home and do they have keyed access and the alarm code,” asked Forgey “You have to develop a checklist because if you don’t feel it’s going to be very stressful. If you take off and then you realize I left this on and left that on, that contact is super important. So you know that what you basically worked for your whole life is taken care of.”

Despite more people having security systems and cameras readily available at their fingertips, he stressed having a trusted point of contact is vital. If you do have a neighborhood watch in your area Forgey said to tell them of your plans and let them know who your point of contact is too.

Officer Forgey said the point of contact can greet the police in case of emergency and help in case of an emergency. He said they can also help get your mail when you’re away.

“If your mail does pile up or you have packages sitting on the porch, people could be watching that, and if there’s not a lot of activity they might say they might be gone and they could try to get into your house somehow.”

If you are traveling for vacation this summer, avoid posting your travel adventures on social media until after you return.

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