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Tips for preventing home burglaries during the holiday season

Nearly 1 in 4 Americans are not taking steps to protect their homes from break-ins during the holidays, even if they're traveling away from home.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — According to the FBI, on average, a burglary happens once every 26 seconds. That adds up to more than two burglaries every minute and over 3,300 burglaries per day. Statistics also show that burglaries usually happen in the middle of the day.

During the holiday season, state and local law enforcement agencies are reminding the public to take preventative measures against falling victim to several crimes. That includes home burglaries, package theft, and vehicle break-ins.

Nearly 1 in 4 Americans are not taking steps to protect their homes from break-ins during the holidays, even if they're traveling away from home. That's according to a recent survey by Safety.com, an independent security review site.

Researchers found 54 million adults will leave their home unattended for more than a few hours, leaving them more vulnerable to burglaries. About 59-percent of survey respondents say they plan on leaving their home with no security system in place over the holidays.

Instead of using home security, those homeowners will trust alternative ways to protect their homes from potential burglaries. That includes locking their doors and windows, leaving the lights on in the home, or the neighborhood watch.

Here are some other ways to prevent home burglaries during this time of year:

  • If you have a home security alarm, make sure you activate the alarm, even if you're leaving your home for a short period of time.
  • You might want to consider installing an automatic timer for your home lights.
  • You can make potential burglars think you're home by leaving the kitchen or bathroom light on or leaving on the TV or radio.
  • If you're away for the holidays, never leave your house keys outside under a mat, plant pot, or other hiding spot.
  • If possible, ask a trusted neighbor, close friend, or family member to drop by your home once or twice a day to grab the mail, switch the lights on and off, and scope out the property. Uncollected mail and packages are a clear indicator that a residence is unoccupied.
  • If you received a large gift during the holiday, make sure you break down the box before placing the trash on the curb in front of your home. Boxes for expensive items, such as computers or tv screens, might attract burglars.