YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN)- Spring break is often an exciting time to relax and rewind from the daily stressors of life, and for many a chance to get away, to prevent any added stress.

WKBN spoke with Malik Mostella with the Youngstown Police Department about what you should do to your home before leaving for vacation to prevent a possible break-in.

Mostella says there are several small things you can do to keep your home safe. Beyond setting your alarm system if you have one and locking your windows and doors, there are devices you can use that go beyond the deadbolt. He said there are pieces like adjustable door security bars that actually go into the floor that keep the door from opening.

Second floor access points like doors on a balcony tend to get overlooked, so those should be extra secure. Because burglars are less likely to be visible to people that are walking in the neighborhood. And security systems signs, whether real or fake, have been known to ward off potential intruders.

Mostella said me there are all kinds of companies that sell this type of security that you can add to your home without it becoming too expensive. There are things you can do even outside of your home to help protect it from intruders.

“Most important part would be to collect the mail. Because if that mail starts to just pile up out there in front of your house in that box somebody’s going to notice that.”

Mostella says some areas of the home that tend to get overlooked are windows. Some people may be in a rush to head out of the home for vacation and forget to lock them, especially those that aren’t super visible, like basement windows.

“If you have a smart house, the ability to be able to have lights turn on and off in different rooms so it looks like somebody is at home,” said Mostella.

And if you don’t have a smart home, Mostella recommends having a trustworthy friend come by your house frequently while you’re gone. By having them pick up your mail and switch the lights for you, it makes it less obvious that you’re away.

Mostella said that most of the time when a house gets broken into it’s by somebody who lives close by. He said it’s usually by someone who’s been scouting the neighborhood or scouting the house and they know you’re not there. and they’re not always strangers, which is why avoiding posting your location and every move on social media is important.

Mostella says that keeping your home safe and secure should be at the top of your to-do list whether you’re at home or on vacation, he says most of the time when a house gets broken into it’s by someone who lives close or has been scouting your home.