Keeping An Eye Out
Like most other police agencies in other communities, the Vernon Hills Police Department will check your home periodically while you are away. This is a free service for the residents of Vernon Hills. There are just a few rules:
- The request for a house watch can only come from the homeowner.
- House watch requests in excess of 14 days will be conducted on a weekly basis instead of a daily basis.
- We cannot conduct house watches for apartments or units that share a common door entryway to multiple units.
- We will not conduct house watches if the home owner has someone staying in the house.
Request a Watch On-Line
To make the entire process easier, better and more consistent for all parties, we will only accept house watches that are requested on-line.
Click here to access the on-line registration. (The link can also be found in the "How Do I" section)
Going on vacation is understandably an exciting event for every member of the family. Much thought usually goes into the scheduling and planning to be sure that all of the details are taken care of. However, when finalizing your plans, don’t neglect the protection of your property and belongings that are staying behind.
Suggestions & Tips
Before you leave, take a few minutes and review the following suggestions:
- Call the police department and request a vacation watch. Most police departments will check your home while you're away. Click here to do it on-line. (For future reference, the link can also be found in the "How Do I" section)
- Disconnect the garage door opener. Make sure that it cannot be opened. Also, lock the door between the garage and the inside.
- Give a key to a relative or trusted neighbor. Ask that person to check the house as often as possible. Any deliveries that were not stopped should be taken inside. Ask that person to open the curtains periodically. If there is a car in the garage, ask them to park it in the driveway occasionally. In short, the house should be made to look lived in.
- If you will be gone a long time, have your yard taken care of by someone you trust. Have the grass cut (or snow shoveled) promptly. A driveway full of untouched snow is a sure sign that no one is home.
- Install timers on each level of your home. Having a light on each level makes the home look occupied. A timer on a radio is also a good idea.
- There are several reasonably priced ways to keep the exterior lit including switch timers, motion detectors and light sensors on either the exterior fixture or on the bulb itself.
- Never hide a key anywhere outside. This is a trick that burglars are familiar with.
- Stop all deliveries to your home. Newspapers and mail that accumulate are sure giveaways that no one has been around.
- Don't advertise that you are going away. Sure, it's fun to tell your Facebook "friends" about your trip. However, the more people who know, the more vulnerable your home becomes.
- You probably don't need to have your address on your luggage tags. In this day and age of smart phones and 24/7 contact, assuming that you will have your phone with you, just having your cell number and/or (nameless) email address on them will probably be good enough. (You'll probably want your lost luggage back sooner anyway.)