Police say be proactive to keep your home safe when going out of town

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF)- Myrtle Beach Police say there are proactive steps people can take to make sure their home stays safe while they are away for the holidays.

Dan Kingsmore said he is doing everything he can to make sure his home is secure because he knows what it is like to be burglarized. "Be sure dead bolts are locked, windows, someone taking the newspapers off the pavement."

Police say having an alarm system could also reduce the risk of being a victim of a break-in. Captain David Knipes with the Myrtle Beach Police Department said, "A burglar would think twice about if he sees a sign or indication on residence...if a choice of taking a house with alarm and without-he would go for the one without."

And police say they will even do what they call a "keep check" on your home to make sure it stays safe while you are gone. Knipes said, "Call police and let us know and we'll keep an eye. Let us know the key holder information, and how long you will be gone, how many vehicles in the yard."

If you would like police to keep an eye on your home, just give them your address and the dates you will be out of town. Homeowners say it is about being proactive. "I set my porch lights on timers. I have someone get the mail. I have lights inside on timers too. I don't leave any signs I am out of town."

And some say community watch groups are a vital part of staying safe. Kingsmore said,"We let neighbors know when we're going and coming-good to make sure house is watched while you're gone."

And sometimes it is a matter of common sense of making sure your windows are locked. Kingsmore added, "Windows-that is where most people come in, not through doors. Sliding glass doors-make sure the bar is there-want them to have to break the door and make noise because that is another deterrent. Burglars don't like to make noise."

Police say make sure you set your alarm before leaving because it could keep burglars from making an easy entrance into your home.

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