Safety For You: Low-tech ways to protect your home while you’re away

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LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – We’re a few days shy of Thanksgiving and Christmas is nearly a month away which means many people will be packing their bags to get out of town for a few days.

But before you go away preparing your home is crucial.

Lansing Police Community Service officer Kasha Osborn says “Honestly it’s really all about planning.”

Homeowners should remain aware to stop burglars from breaking into your home.

“Don’t allow yourself to become a victim,” adds Osborn.

Property owners can avoid becoming that by doing some simple things.

Osborn explains, “If you’re going to be gone for a long period of time and you know that during the evening hours you’re not going to be there, turn on certain lights.”

“The setting up lights on timers is crucial,” agrees Captain Greg Frenger of the Meridian Township Police Department and Officer Osborn say, by setting lights up on timers, it gives thieves the impression that your home is being lived in and usually will discourage them from breaking in.

“A lot of the houses that are well kept and well groomed, those are the houses that people kind of by-pass,” Osborn says.

They also urge property owners to make sure all doors are locked before leaving town.

And that’s not all.

Before heading out for the holidays, it’s important to make sure your home is being looked over on a consistent basis.

And police departments, including Meridian Township, offers their assistance.

With the click of your mouse homeowners can go online and fill out a “property check request form” and police will drive by your home to keep an eye out for you.

“People can call in or they can go to our webpage and fill out the information and the officers will go around during the daytime,” explains Frenger.

Meridian Township Police isn’t the only agency that has a property check, Lansing Police do as well.

“We can do a home inspection so we’ll come out and we’ll actually walk around your residence,” says Osborn. “The exterior, as well as the interior, of the home.”

Speaking of things homeowners can do outside their home is mail.

Often times burglars will target homes if mail is overflowing, so it’s important to always have a neighbor collect your mail or simply call the post office to hold your mail while you’re away.

“Packages that are piling up, newspapers piling up, flyers in the mailbox, those are good things to keep track of and have somebody move those on a regular basis for you while you’re gone,” reminds Frenger.

He also recommends removing any spare keys you may have hidden.

Allow a neighbor to park their car in your driveway so it seems as though someone is home and even have someone rake the leaves in your yard or shovel your driveway.

Frenger agrees with that. “I think that the snow removal is a big one in the winter time, maintaining the yard and lawn is a big one but doing anything that can help the home looked lived in.”

Osborn has one last reminder. “Just not leaving yourself vulnerable, just being aware.”

Protecting your home all comes down to thinking ahead.

If homeowners do that your home will stay safe while you’re gone for the holidays.

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