Protecting your home during holiday travels

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — If you’re traveling for the holidays, police have this advice for you: Stay off of social media!

“Do not post anything on social media that you’ll be gone and don’t take pictures while you’re gone and saying, ‘hey I’m here or there,'” Master Police Officer Roger Whitely told WAVY.com. “You’re just advertising your home to be burglarized.”

He also advises that you turn on some lights or even better — put them on timers.

If you can afford a security system or cameras, that’s great. If not, the signs themselves can be a deterrent and having a good neighbor to look out for your house is priceless, Whitely said.

“It’s the whole ‘see something, say something.’ Have them call the police.”

Norfolk police will also send patrols by your house when you’re gone if you call ahead. Just contact the main police number or your precinct.

Now, keeping thieves out is one thing. Protecting from Jack Frost is another.

If you think turning off the heat will save you money, think again. Plumbing expert Steve Summerford with Norfolk Plumbing Inc. has seen up to a dozen pipes burst in one home.

“Tens of thousands of dollars if you get a break on the second floor of your home and it floods down to the first floor,” Summerford told 10 On Your Side.

His advice is to set the thermostat down to about 65 degrees, open cabinet doors, disconnect hoses outside and if you’ll be gone for a week or more, consider shutting off the water meter by the curb. Once that’s done, turn on all your faucets to drain them. The air inside will protect the pipes.