Columbia, SC (WLTX) - As Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases make their way into Midlands homes, it's important to make sure your home is protected if it's targeted by a burglar.
"It's the look of vacancy," said Chris Spivey, a State Farm Agent in Columbia. "If your home looks vacant, that's definitely inviting theft to occur."
Spivey says the most important thing you can do, is to know what's in your home.
"If you have a digital camera, it's probably the easiest way, or maybe even a iPhone," said Spivey. "You can take some pictures, definitely of the big items. Maybe take some pictures of serial numbers. Take that stuff and put it in a secure place. If you use a digital camera and have the memory card, place those things off site."
The records should remain off-site so they don't get stolen if a burglary occurs.
"If there's going to be a UPS box sitting on your porch for a couple of days and nobody comes to pick it up, or if you have the pile up of newspapers and pile up of mail, or an empty driveway, these are all signs for someone driving around the neighborhood looking for houses that might be empty that your house would be an easy target," said Mason Ellerby with AAA of the Carolinas.
Ellerby says homeowners should think about what their house normally looks like, and try to keep it that way during the holiday season.
The front yard could be the most important. Keep the porch clear of excess packages and mail and keep the yard maintained as big bushes give crooks somewhere to hide.
Ellerby says you should also be careful what you leave out in plain view.
"Things like iPads and laptops, if you're going on a car trip and not a plane trip, that's something that's easy to bring with you and it's one less thing somebodies going to take."