This Thanksgiving holiday, more than 13 million Americans will travel to spend the holiday with friends and family, leaving their homes empty for opportunistic burglars. Follow these Thanksgiving safety tips to ensure your family’s safety this holiday season. Be sure to remove fall-related objects that might allow easy access to your home. For example, ladders left outside or against the house can be used to enter a window or scale a fence If leaving town, don’t post Thanksgiving travel plans on Facebook, Twitter or other media pages letting people know that you will be out of town If your house will be empty, turn your telephone ringer down so nobody outside can hear continuous rings If you have an answering machine, review your message to make sure it does not imply that you are away Be sure to have friends or family pick up all mail, newspapers, and deliveries to your residence. Another remedy is to have them stopped while you are gone. Never leave a key hidden outside. Secure all windows, including those upstairs and reduce the chance of easy entry by cutting tree limbs away from second-story windows Have family or a friend move your car periodically if it is parked in the driveway If able, use timers to operate lights to appear as though you are home Have a home security system installed that includes a 24-hour fire monitoring service that automatically dispatches the fire or police department Lastly, stop by the police department to fill out an extra patrol form. The police department will gladly check on your residence while you are out of town.

If traveling, keep in mind the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to save your life and the lives of your loved ones while on the road this Thanksgiving. According to NHTSAA, during the 2011 Thanksgiving holiday (6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23, to 5:59 a.m. on Monday, November 28), 249 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide. Fifty percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts. Get plenty of rest before heading out on the road and pull over if you get tired. The Greenwood Police Department hopes you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.