Safety tips for homeowners who plan to travel over the holidays

(Source: Brandon Etheredge/WTVM)
(Source: Brandon Etheredge/WTVM)
(Source: Brandon Etheredge/WTVM)
(Source: Brandon Etheredge/WTVM)
(Source: Brandon Etheredge/WTVM)
(Source: Brandon Etheredge/WTVM)

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - As the holiday season approaches, you have to begin to think what you are going to do about your home if you are away for an extended period of time.

Maybe you're a college student going home for winter break or you're just heading out of town for a couple of days.

No matter the case, you need to do a little more than just locking the door before you head out.

One tip from local police is getting an exterior and interior alarm.

"If the audible alarm is going off in the residence and the door shuts behind the burglar, it will limit the number of people aware of what is going on," says Lieutenant Jody Hillyer with the Auburn Police Division, "Even though we have very good alarm companies, if a neighbor hears the alarm and contacts us, that cuts the response time in about half"

Police say that if you are going out of town, don't post about it on social media, doing so is like renting a billboard letting everyone know you aren't in town.

The best defense against would-be thieves is neighbors helping neighbors.

Lieutenant Hillyer says anytime you see something you think is suspicious, call 911.

"Some thieves use a trick to find out if you are home, "If they have someone knock on the door it's a technique used by burglars often. They knock on the door and if someone is there, they'll ask for a made-up name. When you say he or she does not live here they will say, 'I'm sorry I have the wrong house.' If that happens, you need to call us that would definitely, in my opinion, be qualified a suspicious they should call us and let us determine if they're in fact legitimately there." Says Lieutenant Hillyer.

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