HPD provides tips on protecting your home while you’re away

single-meta-cal June 18, 2021

With the summer travel season underway, it’s important to know what to do to keep your property and belongings safe on vacation.

HPD Officer Bruce Jansen stands on the porch of a home in Huntsville. He is in a dark blue uniform.

Huntsville Police Department South Precinct Officer Bruce Jansen advises residents to follow some common-sense safety tips if they plan on leaving town this summer.

Huntsville Police Department South Precinct Officer Bruce Jansen shares 10 helpful tips on how you can protect your home when you’re away:

  • Keep mum: Don’t post to social media or share photos from your trip while you’re gone.
  • Reach out: If you have a friend or neighbor you trust, have them check on your home.
  • Plan ahead: Ask the post office to hold your mail and have a friend or family member remove packages from your doorstep.
  • Leave a light on: Turn at least one interior light on so it looks like someone is home.
  • Don’t forget: Be sure to lock all doors and windows.
  • Communicate: If your neighborhood has a community watch, let the organizer know you’ll be out of town, so they can keep an eye on your house.
  • Contain your pets: Many times, a pet can cause a false alarm. Limit your pet’s access to certain areas of your home, so they don’t set off a motion detector.
  • Avoid hiding spots: Do not leave spare keys hidden outside your home while you’re on vacation. Although a “hiding spot” may seem safe, someone wanting to access your home might have ample time to look for a key. Give your spare key to a trusted family member, friend or neighbor instead.
  • Register your alarm: Don’t forget to register your alarm through the City of Huntsville.
  • Check your batteries: Make sure your alarms are functioning properly. If they are battery-operated, check to see that the batteries are fresh.

Alarm response

Huntsville Police officers answer citizen and business alarm calls daily. In 2020, the department responded to 9,973 alarm activations, most of which were false alarms.

Homeowners are required to register their alarm each year with the City’s alarms office. This allows officers to receive the most up-to-date information about your home or business if your alarm goes off.

Being familiar with how your alarm works is crucial to police response. Many times, officers encounter individuals who don’t know their alarm system’s passcode, requiring the alarm company to dispatch police unnecessarily.

If police are dispatched on an alarm call and it’s determined to be a false alarm or your alarm is not registered with the City, you could receive a warning or pay a fine.

Non-emergency assistance

For more information about protecting your home or property click here.  To make a non-emergency request to HPD, please call 256-722-7100.