Holiday home safety tips

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 10:38 PM CST
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - As people look to travel for the holiday season, local law enforcement is offering tips for homeowners to help keep their property safe.

The Bay County Sheriff’s Office is offering holiday home checks. Those who are interested must call (850) 747-4700 to register their home and provide the necessary dates of service. Sheriff’s deputies will stop by the registered home several times and perform an inspection to make sure everything is in place.

According to officials with the Panama City Beach Police Department, 40 percent of break-ins can be prevented by just locking doors including front doors, rear doors, car doors and windows.

Panama City Beach Police Department Sergeant James Dinse also recommends investing in security systems and notifying a neighbor of any dates you plan to be away.

“Some of the key tips is to make it look like someone is living there, still make it look like someone is home. Don’t just have all your lights off,” Dinse said. “You know you can turn off all your appliances, of course, unplug all the stuff you’re not going to use, your toaster things like that, but keep a light on in the house. Let your neighbors know, get friendly with them. Let them know you’re going to be leaving town and communicate with them. One thing you don’t want to do is post on social media about your vacation that’s upcoming, I know you’re probably really excited. do something maybe after that, but definitely wait until you come back because that’s something you’re putting out to the world at that point.”

Officials say if something feels fishy do not hesitate to contact local law enforcement.