Spunaugle offers home safety recommendations while on vacation

As COVID slips further into the review mirror, families are hitting the road again for vacation. While it’s great to get away, the last thing one wants to do is come home to any unpleasant surprises.

Montgomery County Sheriff Jon Spunaugle said prevention is the key when it comes to protecting your home and identity when away.

“Statistics show 32 percent of burglars enter a home through an open window,” Spunaugle said. “Locking doors and windows might seem like an obvious suggestion, but it’s been known to happen, a lot.”

He added even windows on the upper floors and garages should be closed and locked.

A vehicle in the driveway usually indicates someone is home. Therefore, Spunaugle recommends leaving a locked vehicle in the driveway or even having a neighbor utilize the driveway when away to act as a deterrent.

Another tip, said Spunaugle, is to have a neighbor or friend collect the mail or delivered packages from the home.

“Mail or deliveries left out in the open are a red flag no one is home,” Spunaugle said.

If someone is unable to collect the mail, one can request the postal service hold the mail until home.

Keeping the yard maintained is another key to protect a home while away, including during the winter months, when sidewalks need to be shoveled. Hiring a professional service or asking a friend or neighbor to mow or shovel is a good idea if the trip is longer in length, Spunaugle said.

Another tip is to use a motion detector, timers, or smart lighting to illuminate a room or two when gone. With today’s technology, it’s easy to control the lighting of a home remotely.

“A dark house can be an indication of an empty home,” said Spunaugle.

Spunaugle also recommends locking up or hiding valuables such as jewelry, social security cards, financial information, irreplaceable items and collectibles.

“Easy to grab expensive items are alluring to burglars and it doesn’t take long to get in, grab as much as you can, and go.”

Lastly, Spunaugle said to resist the temptation of social media to advertise about being gone.

“Not only friends and family can see what you post,” said Spunaugle. “Criminals also utilize social media as a tool.”  

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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