HUNTSVILLE, Ala.- The holiday season is a time to give but police warn you need to be sure you know who you are giving to. Around this time of year police see an increase in car break-ins, package theft, and burglaries.
When you're out of town, a simple mistake could lead criminals inside your home.
October is Crime Prevention Month and Huntsville Police say there are several highly effective ways to secure your home.
"Probably some of the most obvious, don't post on social media when you're going out of town and where you're going out of town. There oftentimes are people that post they are going out of the country that is a big no-no," says Lt. Michael Johnson.
Lt. Michael Johnson with the Huntsville Police Departments says understanding the environmental design of your home is crucial.
"Do you have bushes or trees nearby the window or landscape that keep the window from being easily accessible? The other thing is how the doors are structured. Do you have longer screws in the hinges? Then the door is a little bit harder to kick in," says Johnson.
Police say it is a good idea to know who your neighbors are.
"You can touch base with them while you're gone. Let them know that you will be gone, don't post it on social media. Just let them know and they can let you know, alert you to anything going on in the neighborhood," says Johnson.
Johnson says you should never leave a spare key in an obvious place. If you have a neighbor you can trust, ask about leaving a spare with them. If you don't have a trusted neighbor or friend to keep a spare key, consider buying a combination lockbox.
Don't wait until you're a victim. Johnson says you can enlist the boys in blue to give suggestions on how to make your home safer.
"They can set up a time to actually come out and look at your home or business and give you a few pointers to make that security a little stronger. Some of them are very very simple fixes that do not cost a lot of money," says Johnson.
If you're interested in having Huntsville Police evaluate the security of your home, contact the community relations officer in your precinct.
Police say ultimately, having cameras and an alarm system that is monitored and registered with law enforcement is the most effective way to ward off burglars.