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BBB: Keep home from being targeted by thieves while on vacation

COVINGTON -- With an estimated 136 million Americans going on at least one vacation this summer, the Better Business Bureau and home security company ADT offer tips to protect the home while away. Proactive measures can help consumers keep their home safe from fire, carbon monoxide and the threat of burglary while they are away.

First, BBB and ADT advise to be careful about the vacation details you share via social media. Burglars can use posts on Twitter or Facebook to determine when you'll be away. More than one third of Americans polled in ADT's Safety Data Index survey said they believed their home is too ordinary and would not interest a burglar. However, a vacant home could be enough to attract unwanted attention, so be careful about broadcasting your travel plans.

Also, lock your doors even when you're gone for a brief amount of time. Two thirds of Americans surveyed for the Safety Data Index agree they do more to protect their homes when they are going away for a night than when they are just leaving for a few hours. But, according to the FBI, more than half of home burglaries happen during the day, so homeowners should secure doors and windows every time they leave their home.

Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors every month. Summer marks the beginning of hurricane season, and if a generator needs to be used in a power outage, a quick test of your monitored life safety devices can help keep your family safe from potentially dangerous fumes.

Keep hedges and bushes around your home trimmed, so burglars don't have places to hide.

If you want to relax on vacation, make sure your vacation planning includes securing your home while you are gone. If you choose to contract with a security company, check out their BBB Business Review first at bbb.org.