Home Security While on Vacation

The "Lived In" Look

The typical burglar looks for a house where it's obvious that no one's home. So, naturally, the best thing you can do to protect your property while away on vacation is to create the impression that someone is still at home.

One good way to create this "lived in" look while you're gone is with the help of a neighbor. Of course, arranging to have a friend or relative check your home periodically is a good idea too. But your neighbors next door can provide around-the-clock security, simply by watching out for any unusual or suspicious activity around your residence, and then calling the police if they think something is wrong. Either way, it's good peace of mind when you're away, knowing that someone's still looking out for things back home.

A vacation or weekend away from home should be a pleasant experience for you and your family. You can make it more enjoyable and carefree by taking a few simple steps to reduce the possibility that your home might be broken into while you are gone.

If you are planning a vacation or weekend trip, you can make it tougher for the burglar by following the suggestions listed in this brochure. Precautions like storing valuables out of sight and making sure all of your windows and doors are locked only take a few minutes, but they go a long way toward preventing burglary, theft or vandalism to your residence while you are away. How A Neighbor Can Help

Some of the ways a neighbor can help to prevent a burglary to your home include:

  • Collecting newspapers, mail and parcels that have been delivered to your house, and saving them for you until you return home. Uncollected deliveries only advertise your absence.
  • Cutting the grass and keeping the yard tidy while you're gone in the summer.
  • Shoveling the sidewalk in the winter.
  • Parking a car in your driveway to give the impression that someone is still at home. During the winter, a driveway with no tire tracks in the snow is a dead giveaway that the house is unoccupied. Most important of all, tell your neighbors when you are leaving and how long you'll be gone. Ask them to watch your house, and to call the police if they see anything suspicious.
  • If possible, you should also leave a telephone number where you could be reached in case of an emergency. And, you may even want to leave a house key with a trusted neighbor while you are gone. That's an especially good idea if you have houseplants or a pet that will need care while you're away.

Then, return the favor by watching out for your neighbors' property when they go on vacation. A neighborhood "buddy system" is just about the best kind of crime prevention program you can have when you're away from home - and any other time, too! Going on Vacation:

  • Leave Exterior Lights On: Light up the locations where entry is most likely. Doors and those sides of the house not easily visible from the street.
  • Have A Neighbor Use Your Garbage Cans: Some burglars work as refuse collectors. An empty can means an unoccupied residence.
  • Remove Flammables: Remove another possible source of fire by removing flammables and accumulated rags.
  • Put Things Away: Items left unsecured and in the open invite theft.
  • Do Not Leave Hidden Keys: Burglars look for these and generally will find them.
  • The Mail & Newspapers: Do not stop all deliveries. However, do have your keyholder pick up those still being delivered daily.
  • Lock All Doors 8e Windows: Prior to departure check all doors and windows to insure all are locked.
  • Do Not Close Blinds And Drapes: A "closed up" house is a sure sign of being unoccupied.
  • Leave A Radio On: Turn Doorbell Volume Down If Possible: A burglar will not be able to discern if the bell has rung and believes that it just was not heard.
  • Lock Garage Door: Disconnect Door Opener: An extremely important step often forgotten.
  • In Winter Arrange To Have Snow Shoveled: Lack of footprints or tire tracks are a give-away that your house is vacant.
  • In Winter Drain Pipes and Water Reservoirs: If your heat goes out for any reason, this will prevent them from freezing.
  • Move Valuables: Move valuables from locations where they are in plain view. Many burglars are window shoppers and go after what they can see.
  • Arrange Inspections: Arrange to have your residence checked daily by your keyholder or neighbor.
  • Select A Keyholder: Choose a friend, relative or neighbor to retain the keys to your residence in your absence.
  • Leave Interior Lights On: Make the burglar think that someone is at home. Leave lights on in some interior locations.
  • Alter Lighting Pattern: Use timers or have your "KEYHOLDER" change which lights are on periodically during your absence.
  • Disconnect Appliances: Eliminate possible fires by disconnecting all nonessential electrical appliances.
  • Do Not Discuss Your Absence: If a burglar overhears you are going to be gone, it makes his job that much easier.

Janesville Police Department Crime Prevention (608) 755-3077

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