Home Security While On Vacation
Going away this summer? Whether your travel plans are for one month or one day, unless the proper precautions are taken, it can also be a perfect time for a burglar to strike.
The Vernon Hills Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit has compiled the following list of suggestions to help you strengthen the security of your home. While most of the tips are meant to assist in the event of an overnight trip, many of them are practical all year round. Taking some basic security precautions is a relatively simple thing to do and will normally cost little, if anything at all.
Tip #1 - Stop all deliveries. A pile of newspapers or mail is like hanging out a sign telling others that no one is home.
Tip #2 - Install and use appliance timers. They are inexpensive and having one on each floor to turn a light on and off makes it appear as though someone is home. You can also use one to turn on a radio that is near a door.
Tip #3 - Illuminate the exterior. There are several reasonably priced ways to keep exterior doorways lit including switch timers, motion detectors and light sensors on either the exterior fixture or on the light bulb itself.
Tip #4 - Give a key to a trusted relative, neighbor or friend. Arrange for that person to stop in every so often and make the house look “lived in.” Some ways of doing this include moving the car in and out of the garage, opening and closing the drapes and blinds, and bringing in the newspapers and mail if the deliveries weren’t stopped. Also, don’t forget to ask someone to cut the grass if it gets too long.
Tip #5 - Never, ever hide a key outside! You’re not the only one who knows that these things exist - burglars do, too!
Tip #6 - Do not post your plans on social media. This holds true especially if your home will be empty while you are away. Although you might want to share your excitement, it's always best to keep some things off the Internet.
Tip #7 - Call the police and ask for a vacation watch. The police will check your house periodically while you are away. Almost all police agencies offer this free service. All it takes is for someone to not close a door completely and you’ll be glad that you called. (Vernon Hills residents who would like to arrange a house watch should call 847-362-4449, press 1, then 5.)
Finally, here's a luggage-related tip for you - Think twice about having your home address and landline number on the luggage tag. Not only are you telling strangers where you live, but if your luggage is lost, you can be contacted faster if you just show your name, cell phone number and email address.