Tips for keeping your home safe during vacation

June 4, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Fresno Police Department says home burglaries spike when school gets out and the summer travel season gets underway.

With so many families on vacation, an empty house can be inviting to burglars.

Rebecca Purtz is looking forward to her vacation in Boston.

She's worried about packing properly for trip but one thing she's not worried about is the security of her home while she's away.

The mother of two is an employee of Valley-owned Matson Alarm and her Clovis home is equipped with the latest smart-home technology to keep burglars out.

"This gives me so much peace of mind because I know when something is going on. I get an alert for any and everything that happens at my house," Purtz said.

The "Total Protect" system allows her to monitor security cameras, remotely arm and disarm her system as well as remotely control her appliances -- like lighting, thermostat settings, and the locks on her doors, all from an app on her phone.

"A great way to kind of fool people about showing you're home when you're really not is you can set up timers for your lighting," Purtz said.

That kind of system can cost hundreds of dollars for installation as well as a monthly fee starting at $42.99.

So if a home alarm system isn't an option, Fresno Police Sergeant Mark Hudson says there are some common sense ways to secure your home and it starts from the outside.

"Look at your house and see is it somewhere a thief can get to the side of the house and not be visible from the street, do I need to trim some bushes," Hudson said.

Next, give your home the sense somebody's still home. That means, don't let newspapers pile up or garbage cans sit out.

A tell-tale sign for burglars checking out your neighborhood is a full mailbox, so stop your mail before you leave, or have you neighbor pick it up. Forget the status updates and check-ins while you're on vacation. Those types of posts on social media basically advertise that you're not home.

Finally, lock all windows, doors and gates. The harder your home is to get into, the less likely it will be a target.

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