FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — With the holiday season beginning, that means an increase in travel and vacant homes.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation, “During the 6-day Thanksgiving travel period, the number of long-distance trips (to and from a ­destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 54 percent, and during the Christmas/New Year’s Holiday period the number rises by 23 percent, compared to the average number for the remainder of the year.”

This expected travel period comes with personal, home and vehicle security risks. The Fort Wayne Police Department shares some holiday safety tips.

Personal Safety:

  • Situation awareness, always pay attention to your surroundings
  • Consider shopping with others, there is safety in groups
  • Avoid walking alone or parking in dark isolated areas
  • Keep wallet or purse secured, close to your body
  • Avoid carrying too many packages, keep your hands free as possible
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, use cards when possible
  • Use your phones GPS and share your location with family/friends    

Protect Your Vehicle:

  • Keep doors locked and windows up when parked
  • Never leave your vehicle running unattended
  • Take all valuable property out of your vehicle every time you leave
  • Install an alarm system and consider using a club (wheel lock device)
  • Park in well-lit, busy areas

Secure Your Home:

  • Lock all doors and windows and have secondary locks (window pins, deadbolts, dowels etc.)
  • Keep landscaping trimmed so you can easily see around your property
  • Stop Mail and newspaper during extended absences
  • Have a neighbor park in driveway when on an extended absence
  • Do not announce on social media when you will be away on vacation
  • Catalog serial numbers on property
  • Monitor deliveries (Amazon) and give instructions to delivery in non-visible locations
  • Use surveillance cameras and ring doorbells to monitor your home while away
  • Use timers, photo sensors, or motion sensors for lighting
  • Set burglary alarm and advise the alarm company you are away and to call the police directly
  • Keep gifts and expensive property out of plain view from the outside