5 Must-do tips before you leave for vacation

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June is National Home Safety Month and according to local home security experts, the biggest threat to your home is burglary.

“In the U.S., more than 6 million homes are burglarized while residents are on vacation each year.,” says Bob Branstetter from Protection 1 in Phoenix.

Branstetter offers homeowners 5 tips to keeping their homes safe while on the road.

1. Make sure to have all mail, newspapers, and deliveries stopped or picked up by a neighbor, friend or relative;

2. Don’t post summer travel plans on Facebook, Twitter or MySpace letting people know that you will be out of town;

3. Place lights and a television on a programmable timer.

4. Secure all windows, including those upstairs and reduce the chance of easy entry by cutting tree limbs away from second-story windows for easy access

5. Find out if your town features a crime watch program, where police will conduct daily drive-bys of your home.

And Branstetter also adds, if you’re a renter, you’re at higher risk of being burglarized. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, renters are 85% more likely to experience a break-in than a home owner.

Branstetter’s advice is to be prepared and find a security system that will let you keep tabs on your home, while you’re away.

“Consider installing a Web-based home security system that allows you to check on your home while away and even arm and disarm your system from any laptop, cell phone, PDA or any other web accessible device,” he says.