Always report any suspicious activity. You may do so by calling your local police for non- emergency or 9-1-1 for any emergency. Both are operational 24/7.
Always lock your vehicle and take all valuables with you. These items may include GPS, cell phone, loose change, and compact disc to name a few.
Set your vehicle alarm if you have one. In addition to locking you vehicle doors, make sure if your vehicle has a latch to open a trunk or cargo area, and if it is equipped with a lock feature; that you use it.
Do not announce on your email auto response that you are on vacation with the dates you are leaving or returning. This includes both work and personal emails. If you must leave an auto response reply it should contain as little information as possible. Example: I am currently away and periodically checking my emails. If you need an immediate response, please contact Jane Doe at 407-555-5555.
Do not announce to the whole community that you will be gone on vacation. This would include by word of mouth, voice mail and social networking sites (Facebook, My Space, Twitter, etc) Only let a few select and trusted friends or family members know so they can check your home for you.
Do not update your travel plans on social networking sites. Example: We are having a blast in the islands… we go snorkeling tomorrow. Wishing you were here. See you in two weeks.
Turn down the ringer on your phone so it can’t be heard from the outside
Periodically retrieve your home messages so your voice mail does not get full. This could be another indicator you are not home.
Do a maintenance check of your alarm system prior to your departure. Make sure the alarm company has updated contact information to include how to reach you as well as a trusted friend or relative in the area.
Contact your local police department and request they provide house checks while you are away. This is a free service.
Make arrangements to have someone cut your grass while you are away. If you have a lawn service, continue to have them provide the service. Do not announce to them you are leaving. Make sure your lawn and pool service is paid and up to date. This will prevent them from leaving a bill at your front door or mailbox.
Stop all deliveries to include parcel packages and newspaper delivery
Have a trusted relative, friend or neighbor do the following:
1.Park a spare vehicle in your drive way while you are away.
2.The first preference is to have your mail stopped. The second option is to have a friend/neighbor check and retrieve your mail. This includes a community mailbox.
3.Place trash in front of your home on trash day and then remove the receptacle.
4.Periodic walks and inspections around your home
5.Pick up any newspaper deliveries. (The preference is to have it stopped)
6.Check the front door for unsolicited fliers, bills (pool, lawn) and parcel packages left at your front door. Have them remove these items.
7.Place interior/outdoor lights, televisions and radios on timers. Make sure your lights are timed for appropriate hours.
8.Unplug your garage door opener and lock the rails from the inside.
9.Inspect your home prior to departure and make sure all windows and doors are locked and secure. This should also include storage areas.
10.Make sure you secure outdoor items such as bicycles, toys, outdoor grill, etc.
11.Unplug all appliances to include TV, stereos, computers, toasters, and microwave ovens to prevent damage during electrical storms.
12.Make sure the last person out of the house locks the door. Then make a check of the outside to make sure everything is secure.