Fairfax Co. police share tips on securing your home before vacation

Summer is a time where a lot of people leave town. But while you’re enjoying your vacation, burglars could be plotting on your empty home.

The Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Department reported 680 cases of burglary or breaking and entering in 2022, a 21% increase since 2021.

As a result of this, the department’s crime prevention unit is sharing some home security reminders so that it doesn’t happen to you.

The weakest point of your home’s doorways and how to operate a personal alarm system is outlined in the department’s home and property protection guide. Ensure that your residence appears occupied even when no one is home by using timers on lights inside, police said.

That extends to the outside of your home too, including keeping the perimeter of your property well-lit and landscaping trimmed near entrances and walkways.

“Exterior lighting is extremely important to residential security,” officials said. “Each exterior doorway should be lighted to prevent an intruder from concealing his activities.”

The guide also said to make sure all doors and windows are closed and locked, including the door to an attached garage. More tips from the police department are outlined below.

  • Install security cameras that preferably have recording capabilities.
  • If you’re heading out of town, avoid announcing your plans on social media.
  • Secure sliding glass doors by placing a metal rod or a wooden dowel rod in the track.
  • Have a trusted neighbor check on your home if you plan to be away.
  • Organize or join a neighborhood watch program.
  • Keep an inventory of your property.
  • Store ladders, tools, and any other outside objects in a locked shed or garage.
  • Set a reminder every night before bed to lock your car and home to keep them safe.
  • Report suspicious activity to our nonemergency number at 703-691-2131.

You can also use the department’s vacation safety checklist before your next vacation. Crime Prevention Officers also have specialized training in conducting home security surveys. You can contact your local district station to learn more and sign up.

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Emily Venezky

Emily Venezky is a digital writer/editor at WTOP. Emily grew up listening to and reading local news in Los Angeles, and she’s excited to cover stories in her chosen home of the DMV. She recently graduated from The George Washington University, where she studied political science and journalism.

Cheyenne Corin

Cheyenne Corin is a part-time reporter for WTOP News. She has worked in the Washington, D.C. area since 2020. Before joining WTOP, she worked as a WDVM/DC News Now Montgomery County Bureau Reporter, TheJasmineBrand Entertainment Correspondent and PHL 17 Reporter.

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