Security tips homeowners should remember before leaving on vacation

"It's always good to let someone know ,a neighbor or family, that you're going to be away and maybe have them come by and check on things while you're away," said travel agent Kelly McKellar. 

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LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Thanksgiving is generally the busiest travel holiday of the year. That means either you or someone you know will probably be out of town next week.

And, leaving town can leave your home vulnerable to criminals.

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It’s natural to be excited about an upcoming trip but coming home to a break-in can ruin your holiday spirit.

Travel agent Kelly McKellar said there are a few home security tips homeowners should remember before hitting the road.

“By all means check your doors, windows, make sure everything is locked. Sometimes you may have doors that you may not use too often you need to check those before you leave. If you have a security system set it up,” said McKellar.

McKellar also suggested you leave your lights on to create the illusion of being at home.

“Have your blinds closed so that people from outside can’t see into your home that way they can’t see if your there or not. You can also stop your mail from coming,” said McKellar.

And the most important thing.

“It’s always good to let someone know, a neighbor or family, that you’re going to be away and maybe have them come by and check on things while you’re away,” said McKellar.

If you live in Columbus and don’t have someone to check on your home, the Columbus Police Department can help out.

Homeowners can submit a request through the SeeClickFix website or app under the tab “Vacation Home Watch”.

“They put in the information, what time they’re leaving, the day and it’s strictly confidential because nobody’s going to see it but the police department and we’ll go by once a day and we’ll check on their property,” said Columbus Police Chief Fred Shelton.

Shelton said residents can even send pictures of their homes and cars.

“If we’re riding through the neighborhood and we see something suspicious maybe something that’s going on at a particular place that way we know so this is going to be another way that the community can connect with the police,” said Shelton.

Request forms for Vacation Home Watch are free and it’s open year-round.

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