Planning a summer vacation? Keep your home safe while you’re gone

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) —  According to the FBI, July and August have the highest number of home burglaries.

If you’re going on vacation during these summer months, it’s important to keep your home safe while you’re away. You don’t want to tip off potential burglars that no one is home.

July and August have the most home break-ins according to the FBI. (KOIN)
July and August have the most home break-ins according to the FBI. (KOIN)

Homeowner Jason Rogers believes neighbors are the best watchdogs while he’s away. You should make sure they know you’re gone and have a way to reach you if they see anything amiss.

“We always check in with a neighbor. They get package stickies off the door,” Rogers said.

You also may be telling too many people you’re going out of town. One of the worst mistakes you can make is posting vacation plans on social media.

According to Jenni Pullen, a crime prevention coordinator with the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, one Southwest Portland couple learned that the hard way.

“It was someone they thought they trusted who broke in and stole from them,” Pullen said.

The good news is neighbors knew the couple was away, and called police. Those burglars were arrested.

If a burglar does get into your home, there are some ways you can prevent significant losses. One thing you can do is move your valuables out of the obvious places they would be found.

Take silverware out of the dining room hutch, jewelry out of the bedroom. Stash valuables under a bed or in a closet, and keep in mind what burglars are after.

“Your typical burglar now is not pulling up in a van and taking a big screen TV.” Pullen said. “You’re going to see someone on foot or bike with a backpack to grab small valuable items to grab and go.”

July and August have the most home break-ins according to the FBI. (KOIN)
July and August have the most home break-ins according to the FBI. (KOIN)

You should also try to leave a car in the driveway, but don’t forget to take the garage door remote out of that car. If you don’t have a car to leave, ask a neighbor to park there.

If you don’t have a security system, you can install an inexpensive fake camera.

You should leave the blinds open, to keep up the appearance that someone is still home. Just be sure to keep valuables out of sight. You could even ask a trusted neighbor to drop in and turn on the lights and TV sometimes.

Lock the door between the garage and the house and take any hidden keys inside.

You can also let the local police know you’re gone, some areas have security watches that patrol.

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