How to Protect Your Home While on Vacation

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The Governor of Pennsylvania wants to keep your home safe when you leave on vacation. His office has issued the following safety tips to use as a checklist when planning your next trip out of town:

  • Contact your local police department and have your home placed on the “House Checks”. It’s free!
  • Strive to make your home look as lived-in as possible while you’re away.
  • Don’t broadcast your plans but do let your neighbors and local law enforcement know.
  • Give a spare key to your neighbors and give them an emergency telephone number to reach you.
  • Arrange to have your mail and newspapers either stopped or picked up daily.
  • Have someone mow your yard or rake the leaves so your house looks lived-in.
  • Use automatic timers to turn on a radio and lights at different intervals to hide the fact you aren’t home.
  • Turn down the ringer on the telephone. An unanswered telephone is a dead give-away.
  • Be sure you don’t announce your absence on your answering machine message.
  • Leave your blinds like you normally would if you were home. Only close them all the way if that is what you would normally do.
  • Be sure to close and lock the garage as well as any storage sheds, gates, etc.
  • Engrave all your valuables with your driver’s license number. If possible, videotape the contents of your home. Be sure to keep the video and the list of valuables in a safety deposit box.
  • Ask your neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway. If you are leaving a vehicle parked outside, have the neighbor move it periodically so it looks as though you are home.
  • Be sure someone knows your itinerary and your estimated time of arrival and return.
  • If you get lost while traveling, ask directions of local law enforcement, not complete strangers.
  • Be sure your vehicle is in good working condition and that you have taken enough money. Do not carry large amounts of cash, use credit cards and travelers’ checks instead.
  • Don’t notify your social media friends that you will be away from home.

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