Keep your home safe this holiday season - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Keep your home safe this holiday season

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TRI-CITIES- During the holiday season police departments see a spike in home burglaries. Thieves know that the closer it gets to Christmas the more likely your home will have lots of goods inside.

So how can you be sure your home is protected?

The first thing is as simple as locking your doors and windows. By doing so you can stop one-third of break-ins. 

And it's a common myth that burglars strike during the evening or in the dark. But in reality, burglars strike during the day when they are less likely to run into people. They look for signs that no one is there. But there are things you can do to throw them off. 

1. Stop Posting Photos While on Vacation: Never post to social media sites that you are either about to leave for vacation or currently on vacation. This  tells burglars your home is empty and an easy target. 

2. Thieves Really Do Case the Joint: Sometimes thieves will invest time in finding the perfect victim. They may figure out your routine to find out what times are best to strike. Or they'll take a look at what's been delivered to your house by going through your trash. So if you purchase a new TV or game console, don't leave them out next to the trash. Break them down and put them deep into a recycling bin. 

3. Thieves Already Know Where You Keep Your Valuables: The jewelry box is an easy target, they can grab it and go. Instead keep things of value in a safe that's either too heavy to carry or mounted to a floor beam that can't be removed. 

4. Be Wary of Your Christmas Tree Placement: It's common to put your Christmas tree in front of a window or near one. But if you can see it from the street, this basically gives thieves the green light that there will be goods inside. Instead keep it out of sight and away from the public eye.

5. Make Your Home a More Difficult Target: Install a security system and cameras. That way if you do happen to be burglarized you can have videos and pictures to provide police. Also if you already have a security system, change the systems siren delay from a minute to 10-15 seconds. Thieves can get through almost every room in your house in a minute and be gone before the siren even goes off. 

Even if you follow these tips there is no guarantee that your house will never be targeted. But if you make it difficult, thieves are less likely to make you their next victim.