An empty house is a tempting target for a burglar. Use this checklist of tips to help safeguard your home while you are away.
• Have good locks on all doors and windows and use them! • Ask a neighbor to watch the house while you are away. It is a good idea to leave your vacation address and telephone number with a neighbor so you can be reached in case of an emergency.
• Stop all deliveries or arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail, newspaper, and packages.
• Arrange for someone to mow your lawn, rake leaves, and maintain the yard to give the home a lived-in look.
• Plug in timers to turn lights, a radio or television on and off at appropriate times. This helps to disguise the fact that you are away.
• Turn the bell or ringer on your telephone down low. If a burglar is around, they won't be alerted to your absence by a ringing phone.
• Do not announce your absence on answering machine messages or post information to social media.
• Leave your blinds, shades, and curtains in a normal position. Don't close them unless that is what you do when you are home.
• Close and lock garage doors and windows. Ask a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway. If you leave your car at home, park it as you normally would. Vehicles parked outside should be moved occasionally to appear that they are being used.
• Secure storage sheds, attic entrances and gates.
• Tell your local police you plan to be away. Patrol officers may have the opportunity to periodically check your home.
At home or away, staying alert can save the day!
• If you are driving, make sure your vehicle has been properly serviced and is in suitable condition for the journey.
• Try to have specific directions and routes to your destination.
• If you get lost, call the local police for directions or assistance.
• Always keep your vehicle doors and windows locked.
• At stop lights and other traffic delays, leave enough space in front of your vehicle so that you have an escape option in case of an emergency.
• Let someone know the route you intend to travel and your itinerary. This will help authorities in locating you if there is a need to do so.
• Plan your trip carefully and allow for factors such as weather, fatigue, facilities for lodging, food, and fuel. Be sure you have sufficient finances, either cash, travelers checks or credit cards.
• Ask the hotel or motel staff about their security measures so you know what to expect.
• Use the hotel safe to store your valuables during your stay.
Staying alert to safety may make your vacation much more pleasant and enjoyable. Being a victim of a crime is no fun.