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RCMP offer tips for home safety while on vacation

With Christmas approaching and the cold winter months close behind, many people are looking to holiday in much warmer climates. Unfortunately, many criminals know this as well and look for opportunities to break into unoccupied homes.

Loon Lake RCMP says taking a few simple steps to protect yourself can go a long way in preventing your home from becoming a target.

A monitored alarm system professionally installed is a quick and easy way for the police to be notified immediately if there is an unauthorized intrusion. There are also many self-monitored systems available, but whatever the choice, RCMP recommend a system with an audible alarm.

Make arrangements for regular home maintenance to be done by a trusted friend or family member. A driveway that hasn’t been shovelled or an overflowing mailbox are signs of an empty house that criminals watch for.

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Leave an interior light on if possible and if you have an exterior motion light, ensure it is functioning properly.

If at all possible, avoid leaving a key hidden outside. No matter how well these are hidden, there is a chance it could be found. With a key, thieves could enter the residence and seal it up behind them making it seem as though nothing is wrong. Neighbours or friends checking your house may not even know something has happened until you return.

Finally, as difficult as it may be, resist posting any vacation plans on social media. These sites are being watched by criminals and regardless of privacy settings, posting your intended dates of travel or posting photos while away only shows that your home is unoccupied.

For any further information, many travel agents are able to assist you prior to your vacation or contact your local RCMP detachment for more details specific to your area.

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