How to protect your home when traveling for Thanksgiving

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - For many families in the Lowcountry, the day before Thanksgiving is a major travel day.

AAA projects more than 50 million Americans will travel this Thanksgiving.

Before you head off, there are some things you need to know to keep your home safe.

One of the first things you're advised to do is tell a trusted neighbor you'll be gone.

"Neighbors look out for neighbors," Lynn Comen said.

Comen has lived in the same home for 39 years and this time of year she starts looking out for others when they're not home for the holidays.

"I try and watch out for their house," said Comen."I get their newspapers early in the morning. I get their mail in the afternoon because I'm getting their mail I may as well get their mail too."

The Charleston Police Department said you need to take as many security measures as possible.

Keeping in mind three main goals: make it look like you are still there, make it hard to break in, help ensure items can be recovered if they are stolen.

Sgt. Shelor with the Charleston Police Department Crime Prevention Unit released a checklist you should follow including the following:

  • Don’t pack the car until the night before
  • Use timers for lights, TVs and radios
  • Have mail or newspapers held, or have neighbor bring them in for you
  • If gone for a week, have neighbor put trash can out
  • Leave a car in the driveway or have neighbor park there
  • Use deadbolts
  • Set alarm if you have one
  • Double check all windows and doors
  • Do not post your plans to leave on social media, only tell people you trust
  • Tell only a trusted neighbor your plans, ask them to check on house and call police if see people around
  • Keep a list of photos of all serial numbered items, and engrave them with your Drivers License Number to help get them back, should it be taken
  • When returning, look for signs of a break-in. If anything is open or broken go next door and call police.

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