Vacation Safety Tips for Your Home

By Chris Guerra
June 30, 2009 at 1:30 a.m.

Summer is finally here. For many of us, this is the time of year to take that much needed break from our daily responsibilities and escape for a relaxing summer vacation.

If you're anything like me, I prefer to do as little thinking as possible in my quest for relaxation.

But don't trade in you're thinking cap for a sombrero just yet. Before you go, here are some safety tips to keep in mind and ensure that your home stays safe during your vacation.

Be sure to lock your house when leaving. It sounds simple, but in the excitement of preparing your get away, it's easy to leave doors and windows unlocked. This includes the biggest door on your home, the garage door. The easiest door or window to get into is one that's been left unsecured.

Get a trusted neighbor to watch your house for you while you're away. Let them know how long you'll be gone, when you'll be returning, and how to contact you in case of emergency. This person can keep an eye on your home, collect your newspapers and mail, and watch for any suspicious activity. Nothing screams, "Hey I'm not here" like a big pile of newspapers sitting in the driveway. If you don't know your neighbors, what better time than now to get involved in a Neighborhood Watch.

Make your home look occupied. Putting your indoor lights on automatic timers, set at random intervals, is a great way to portray this. In addition, it's never a bad idea to leave a radio or television playing somewhere in your home. These suggestions, coupled with having that trusted neighbor park in your driveway while you're away, will at least give the appearance that someone may be house sitting for you.

Don't leave away messages. These can include incoming answering machine messages advertising that you've gone out of town. Posting a status update to Facebook, or Twittering, that you're having a great time with your family in Disneyland, can create a security risk. It's always a better idea to post those vacation photos after you've returned home from your trip.

Request a frequent patrol for your home. By contacting your local law enforcement agency, you can request an officer drive by your home periodically while you're away.

For more information, contact Police Officer Chris Guerra, Crime Prevention Unit, 361-485-3808.

Chris Guerra is an officer with the Crime Prevention Unit of the Victoria Police Department.


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