Summer Marks Open Season for Vacation Break-Ins

BBB advises homeowners of tell-tale signs your home is empty
July 22, 2014

July 22, 2014 - CALGARY, ALBERTA - Swapping your desk and computer for a summer get-a-way is something everyone should enjoy, but the empty house you leave behind could be a  target for thieves. Closed curtains, dark rooms and piled-up newspapers tell thieves your home is empty, so BBB is encouraging homeowners to check-up on security before checking-out on vacation.

"Between booking flights and hotels and packing your belongings, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of a vacation," says Sandra Crozier-McKee, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. "But it's crucial to think about not only what you're taking with you but also what you're leaving behind."

According to the Calgary Police Service community crime statistics report, there have been more than 3,000 residential break and enters so far in 2014 and BBB is warning homeowners to minimize their risk of becoming a statistic while on vacation.

BBB recommends travellers keep the following in mind when securing their home:

  • Don't announce your vacation to everyone. Using social media to announce your travel plans tells strangers that you will be away from your home, which makes it an easy target for thieves.
  • Make it look like you're home. Leave blinds and curtains in their usual position, arrange to have your yard maintained and consider using timed lights to make it appear as though someone is home.
  • Not using your cheque book, address book, etc.? Leave them at home. They become clutter and if lost during your travels, you become a target for identity theft. Secure personal information in a locked, fire-proof safe and do not share the password.
  • Stop your mail and newspapers while you're gone. An overflowing mailbox can be a tempting target for someone who wants to steal your personal information. Piled up papers could tip off thieves that your home is unoccupied.
  • Leave your computer at home. If you must bring it with you, update anti-virus or anti-spyware programs before you leave home, and avoid using public Wi-Fi networks to access financial accounts. Never leave your computer unattended in a public place and make sure it is password protected.

For tips you can trust, visit  


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Media Contact:

Leah Brownridge, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay
(403) 531-8793 or

About BBB:

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at There are local,independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, which was founded in 1954 and garners more than one million instances of service annually. 

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