If you are going away on a vacation, weekend away from home or business trip your home could be the target of burglars. Taking a few extra steps could make all the difference in the world. First, do not discuss your absence in public, and do not give information about your vacation on any social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Post your pictures and tell your great vacation stories after you return home. Several days before you leave your home you should do the following things to insure your home doesn’t get burglarized while you are gone having a good time.
1. Notify your local county sheriff’s office about your departure and return dates and give a name and telephone number of a neighbor or relative to notify in case of a burglary, fire, or other emergency. Your home will be periodically checked by officers patrolling in your area.
2. Notify the Post Office to hold your mail or arrange with a neighbor to pick up your mail daily and hold it.
3. Arrange for a neighbor to pick up your newspaper and to check for throw-away papers and circulars daily.
4. Make arrangements to have your grass cut and watered while you are gone if you are going to be gone on an extended vacation.
5. If you have valuables, take them to your bank and for storage in a safe deposit box. Deposit any extra cash around the house into the bank account.
6. Move valuables so they cannot be seen from porch windows. Be sure you have a list of small appliances and valuables.
7. Make sure any broken windows, door locks or window locks are repaired. Put things away. Lawn furniture, bicycles, etc., should be put away before leaving. Items left out can be easily stolen.
8. Consider arranging with a neighbor or relative to watch your house, give them a key and let them know where or how you can be reached in case of an emergency. Write down their telephone number so you can quickly check with them during your trip. Give them your car description and license number.
9. If you don’t want to leave a key with someone then consider arranging for a trusted neighbor, to be sure that nothing has been disturbed by visually inspecting the outside daily on your behalf.
Just Before You Leave …
10. Unplug or turn down the volume control on your telephone so it cannot be heard from outside.
11. Set an electrical timer to turn some lights on and off during the evening hours. Added protection can be achieved if you have a neighbor rearrange the timer-controlled lights to present a different pattern for a part of your absence.
12. Unplug all electrical appliances such as radios, television sets, irons, washers and fans to prevent possible damage from electrical storms.
13. Make sure that all gas appliances are in good order and that pilot lights are working.
14. Turn off water to automatic washer to prevent possible damage from a broken hose.
15. Have a neighbor put one of their garbage cans in front of your home on collection day.
16. Before leaving make sure all doors and windows are locked or fastened.
17. Lock your garage door and secure with a padlock on the inside.
18. Put window shades in normal position, and make sure all main floor drapes, shades, and curtains are arranged so that neighbors and police can see your house. (Don’t close blinds, pull shades down or do other things that advertise that the home is empty.)
19. Make sure that the last person out locks the door. Then take a walk around the house. Check the doors and windows.
20. If you are leaving a car or other vehicle in your driveway, make sure it is locked and that someone knows where a key to the vehicle is at in case it needs to be moved.
Now you can enjoy a happy and worry free vacation.