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Holiday Safety Tips: Securing Your Home

Hi everyone, and welcome to Coffee with the Medley Police. We’re so excited to have Officer Chavarria here with the Medley Police Department, who’s going to be talking to us today about home safety during the holidays. Welcome, Officer! Thanks for having me! Thanks for being here. We’re really excited. So we’re wondering, can you tell us what kinds of property crime trends do you see during the holiday season?

During the holiday season, we do see an increase of property crimes as thefts of property. We have burglaries of residences and vehicles. Again, things to remember is that these crimes are opportunity crimes, so there are some things we can do to prevent those from happening.

Do you have any special tips or tricks since you’re a police officer on how to protect our homes, like what do you do at your house? What I do at my house is make sure all our doors are locked, all our windows are locked. We have motion sensored lighting outside on the exterior of our home, and that’s just to prevent anyone, if anybody walks by, the light turns on. So a burglar might get spooked and leave the property. Okay, so the motion lights. Many people also have the alarm systems.

Those are classic ways. We always recommend an alarm system and a video system surveillance on your homes. Okay, wonderful! Those are easily available now, you know, with technology. Right. Okay, very good. Is there an interesting call you can share with us, some sort of burglary related call or vehicle break in call that you got here in South Florida?

We’re very fortunate that in Medley, we do not get a lot of these types of crimes. But again, it’s things that we do because we do such a great job at educating our community. We have such a great partnership with our community, but unfortunately we have had those instances where we respond to the burglaries. More oftentimes, we find it’s because of an unlocked door or an unlocked window. Okay, good. So now we know during the holidays, we lock our doors, we use those motion detectors, the alarm systems, , all of these ways to keep our homes safe, especially if you’ll be traveling during the holidays. What are some ways to protect our homes if we’re going to be leaving town? What do you suggest?

My suggestion is a lot of police departments now have what we call a watch order, and that is a free service, especially in our town of Medley. You call us and you say, I’m going to be out of town from this date to this date, and we’ll have officers periodically check your property to make sure that everything’s okay. Also our recommendation is let a neighbor know or let a family member know and let them have a key to check your property. Okay, how about in terms of social media? Don’t post where you are if you leave.

There’s a lot of people looking. If you’re checked in or you’re tagged or announcing that you’re leaving town, that might open up your residence for a burglar to take advantage of that. Okay, well hopefully we won’t be hearing much of that this holiday season. We want to thank you so much, Officer Chavarria with the Medley Police Department for joining us here and discussing home safety tips for this holiday season. Thank you.