Security tips for vacation time

An empty house can be an easy target for a burglar, so take some time to improve your security before you leave on vacation.

Here's security tips from the U.S. Dept. of Justice:

  • Let the police know the dates you will be away. They may be able to check your house occasionally.
  • Stop all deliveries or ask a neighbor to pick up the mail, papers and packages.
  • Arrange for someone to mow your lawn to give your home a lived-in look.
  • Use timers to turn on lights and possibly a radio at appropriate times.
  • Hide garbage cans in the basement or garage. Empty cans, when others are full, can tell a burglar No One is Home.
  • Turn the ringer on your telephone down low or forward your calls.
  • Close and lock garage doors and windows. Over head garage doors can be secured with a padlock in the rail. Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway space occasionally.
  • Leave your blinds, shades and curtains in a normal position. Don't close them unless that's what you do when you are home. If possible, ask a neighbor to go in and change the positions of the shades and drapes for a lived in look.
  • Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on the house and leave an emergency number with them.
  • Finally, after your car is packed and ready to go, go back in the house and walk through each room checking the locks on doors and windows. Don't forget the basement. And while you're at it make sure you unplugged the iron.

Be sure you paid the insurance. If you are driving be sure to have at least one spare car key with you.

Now enjoy your vacation.