The summer is a great time of a year to go on vacation and criminals are aware of this. You need to make sure you take proper steps prior and to vacation to keep your home safe. Basic and simple preventative measures can be taken to help ensure when you return from vacation you are not returning as a victim.
1. Have your newspaper and mail delivery stopped while you are away. It is a clue to a criminal that your mailbox is overflowing and newspapers are piled up on your property. If you have a mail slot on your door, secure it. You can stop your mail by visiting your local post office and completing a simple form.
2. Don’t tip off criminals on the Web. Don’t post vacation plans or check in at locations while away. You never know who can be reading your facebook and twitter accounts. Would you ever consider announcing to a crowd that your house will be vacant for two weeks? Make sure your voicemail also is generic and does not state that you will be away for a period of time.
3. Use timers on lights at different points in your house. You should stager the times and locations so it appears someone has been through your house.
4. Ask a neighbor, you trust, to watch your house while you are away. Provide them with a list of emergency contacts just in case something goes wrong.
5. Notify your local police department and let them know the time period you will be away along with emergency contact information.
6. Secure expensive items such as jewelry and/or cash and keep them out of sight if their location is visible from the window.
7. Remove any spare keys you may have hidden around your residence
8. Double check all doors and windows prior to leaving to make sure they are all locked.
You do not want to make it easier for a criminal to enter your residence. You want to build as many layers of protection that you can.
If you have any questions please contact the Gloucester Township Community Relations Bureau at 856-374-5735 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
--Press release from the Gloucester Township Police Department