Vacation Home Safety Tips

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Being on vacation can lead to your becoming a victim of crime, if you do not take appropriate measures to protect your house. Most families do not think about being victimized, while on vacation, because of all the vacation planning and excitement of going. The following crime prevention tips are designed to assist you in keeping your house safe while you are enjoying your vacation.

  • Complete a Vacation House Watch Request – Submit an online Vacation House Watch Request or print and submit a Vacation House Watch form to the Newton Police Department.  You may also consider completing a printable Home Safety Inspection to allow you to inspect your own house to check for potential security issues.
  • Lock  your doors – Make sure all the locks on your doors and windows function properly, and use them.
  • Maintain a "lived-in" look – Make sure your residence looks lived-in and not empty.
  • Maintain a "normal" look for your house – Leave the shades and blinds, on doors and windows, in a position that you would normally have them.
  • Have trusted people watch your residence – Ask several trusted neighbors to keep an eye on your residence while you are away. Leave your vacation address and telephone number with the neighbors, so you can be reached in an emergency.
  • Make sure alarms are functional – Make sure your smoke and burglar alarms are functioning properly and activated.
  • Arrange for mail to be picked up – Arrange a trusted neighbor to pick up your deliveries: mail, newspaper and any other packages.
  • Arrange for yard management – Arrange for someone to maintain your yard, so your home appears occupied.
  • Arrange for normal routines – Have someone maintain normal routines, such as placing your garbage cans at the curb for normal pickup and put them away after the pickup has been made.
  • Use timers for the lights – Make sure you use timer for lights, the television or radios, so they turn on and off at the appropriate times.
  • Turn the ringer down – Turn the ringer on the telephone to low or off. A possible intruder may be alerted to your absence by a ringing telephone. If you can, forward your calls to your cell phone or a trusted individual.
  • Keep your normal message on your answering machine – Leave a normal message on your answering machine and do not announce your absence on the answering machine.
  • Keep a vehicle in your driveway – Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway while you are gone, so it will appear that someone is home. If you leave your car at home, park as you normally would.
  • Leave your valuables in a safety deposit box – Consider taking valuables that you cannot live without to a safety deposit box.

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