Burglars tend to target unoccupied homes. When you plan for an upcoming vacation, an effective burglary prevention strategy is to make it appear as though someone is home.
The following is a checklist of things that you can do to help with that.
- Do not announce your trip on your voicemail, email, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media.
- Do not leave keys under mats or in obvious locations.
- Hold your mail at https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/ (stop a day in advance and day following your return to ensure that there are no problems).
- Arrange for a neighbor to put your garbage out on trash day.
- Stop the delivery of newspapers.
- Place indoor and outdoor lights on automatic timers.
- Place television and radio on automatic timers so that they are audible from the exterior of your home.
- Arrange for someone to park in your driveway or move your car every so often to make it appear that there is activity at your home.
- Arrange for a neighbor to visit your house on occasion during your leave.
- If there are visitors to your home while you are out, let neighbors know so that they don’t mistake a guest for a burglar. If you have a Neighborhood Watch, consider letting members know.
- Make sure that packages are not sent while you are gone, have a neighbor pick them up, or arrange to sign for deliveries.
- Maintain landscaping. This isn’t as problematic in winter months, but unkempt yards may indicate that you are on vacation.
- Provide your cell phone or a phone number to neighbor(s) so that they can reach you if a problem arises.
- Consider hiring a house sitter.
- Consider storing expensive items such as jewelry in a safe deposit box.
- Have neighbors remove circulars or advertisements placed on your door.
- Have your neighbors watch out for your home and call the police for suspicious activity. They can contact the non-emergency number at 503-823-3333 (for Portland, OR residents) or call 9-1-1 if there appears to be a crime in progress.