It's that time of year when people hit the road on summer vacation trips.

Unfortunately an empty home often is an open invitation for some unwanted guests to pay a visit while you are gone.

So how can you keep your home safe while enjoying your summer trip?

Fort Collins Police Services has some advice to help you avoid a nasty surprise when you get back home.

-Be careful about sharing your vacation plans on social media. Advertising your absence in public just isn't a good idea. Don't let burglars know they don't need to worry about being interrupted or confronted.

- Don't advertise your valuables by putting them out in plain sight, such as in a window or other visible area. That includes such things as expensive electronics, high end jewelry and other valuables.

-This one may be obvious,  but lock up. In the words of the post "Before leaving, make sure all doors, windows, and garage doors are securely locked. Double-check all entry points and ensure they are properly secured."

-''Neighborly Bonds: Notify a trusted neighbor or friend about your vacation plans. Ask them to keep an eye on your property, collect your mail or packages, and report any suspicious activity."

-"Alarm systems: Install a burglar alarm system and ensure it's visible from the outside. Alarms can scare off potential intruders and alert you and authorities in case of an emergency."

-Lighting. Criminals in general like to live in the shadows. In the words of the post ''A well-lit exterior discourages criminals. Install motion sensor lights around your property, especially near entry points and walkways."

In many communities, including Cheyenne, you can also ask police to keep an extra eye on your home while you are gone. To take advantage of that program,  call  (307) 637-6521 or email:

Meet the Four-Legged Heroes of the Cheyenne Police Department

They may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but make no bones about it, police dogs play a vital role in the fight against crime.

In many situations, they're the first ones to put their lives on the line to protect their human partners, proving that not all heroes wear capes, some wear fur coats.



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