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Keep your house safe when you're away

By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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The holidays are a time for many people to get out of town and visit family or enjoy a vacation in a sunny location. This can leave your home vulnerable to burglars, but luckily Paul Tyler from the Lincoln police department had some tips to keep your home safe while you are away. “It is always good to leave a light on and keep a routine with newspapers and the mail,” he said. He suggested having a friend or neighbor pick up your newspaper and mail at the same time of day it would normally be picked up, to make it look like someone is home. He also said it would be a good idea to have lights on timers. Residents can purchase a sound-activated device that emits the sound of a dog barking to deter thieves. “A dog in the home is the best deterrent because dogs can draw a lot of attention,” he said, adding that thieves may not bother robbing a house with a dog because of the attention a dog draws, no matter what size the dog is. The Lincoln Police Department also offers free vacation checks and forms are available on their Web site at . Volunteers will drive by your home, walk the perimeter and check doors and windows to make sure they are locked and not tampered with, according to Tyler. Tyler said the vacation check form asks for the phone numbers of a family member or friend, who will be called “in case anything looks out of order.” If something looks suspicious, the police will be called to check inside the home.