SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -With 54 million Americans expected to travel this Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to AAA, that means a lot of potential targets for would-be burglars.
But security experts say a few simple steps can protect your home.
According to data from the FBI, burglaries reach their highest point during the holiday season, with 400,000 typically taking place between November and December in the U.S. each year.
But research confirms burglars tend to avoid homes with security systems. These days many of those hi-tech systems come with their own cell phone app.
Devin Martin of Minden is the owner of Security Pro, LLC and said security systems these days are more user-friendly thanks in large part to a cell phone app.
"You can automatically see if it is armed or disarmed. And if we have forgotten, my wife and I, as I'm driving down the road she can log in, click the green button, click stay or away and arm the system from anywhere in the world as long as she has internet."
But with costs ranging from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand, that's not an option for all families.
That's why do-it-yourself security systems may cost a lot less, but still deliver some security and peace of mind.
Casey Plunkett with Security Pro tells us he often speaks to potential clients after they have become the victim of a burglary and want help.
"You might think that it'll never be you, or you might be trying to save money. But you never know when it's going to happen."
Other low-cost security steps include asking a neighbor to check on your house and get your mail.
And Devin Martin told us don't forget to leave some lights on.
"The rudimentary way of doing it is you can just get an old analog radio and go to, you know, one of your local hardware stores and buy just an analog timer for about ten dollars," started Martin.
"And you can plug in a radio to that and it will turn on or off at whatever time you set."
Security experts also caution people to keep a low profile on social media before going out of town, so you don't inadvertently signal to a potential burglar that you'll soon be gone for a while.
You're also strongly urged to be vigilant about locking up all windows and doors.
Studies show 34 percent of burglars enter through the front door, with most burglaries taking place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., when most people are at work.
And finally, burglaries are often committed by people who live nearby and can notice any changes to your schedule.