Summer is a time of year that many families go on vacation. Being on vacation can lead to crime victimization if appropriate crime prevention measures are not followed. Most families do not think about being victimized while on vacation because of all the excitement of going on vacation. The following crime prevention tips are designed to allow the vacationer to enjoy a safe and secure trip and to return to a secure residence.
Before Leaving…Secure Your Residence
- Make sure all the locks on the doors and windows function properly and use them.
- Make sure your residence looks lived in and not empty.
- Leave the shades and blinds on doors and windows in a position that you would normally have them.
- Ask trusted neighbors to keep an eye on your residence while you are away. Leave your vacation address and telephone number with the neighbor so you can be reached in an emergency.
- Make sure your smoke and burglar alarms are functioning properly and armed.
- Arrange for a neighbor to pick up your deliveries: mail, newspaper, and any other packages.
- Arrange for someone to maintain your yard so your home appears occupied.
- Have someone place your garbage cans at the curb for normal pickup and put them away after the pickup has been made.
- Make sure you have timers for lights, television, or radios so they turn on and off at the appropriate times.
- Turn the ringer on the telephone down low or off. A possible intruder will not be alerted to your absence by a ringing telephone. If you can, forward your calls to your cellular phone or a trusted individual.
- Leave a normal message on your answering machine; do not announce your absence on the answering machine.
- Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway while you are gone. Seeing their car come and go will help make it appear that someone is home. If you leave your car at home, park as you normally would.
- Consider taking valuables that you cannot live without to a safety deposit box.
- Call your local police to advise them that you are on vacation. They can schedule a vacation house watch.