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Home Security
Vacation Checklist

You certainly do not want to come home from a wonderful vacation to discover your home has been intruded and valuables have been taken.  There are measures that can be taken to diminish the risk and some of these are described in the home security vacation checklist below.

Exterior Lighting.  Put outdoor lighting on either timers, light-sensitive photocell mechanisms, or motion detectors.  You want your home to have the "occupied look" in order to deter criminals.  All potential entry points such as garage, doors, windows, and basement entry-ways should be illuminated.

Interior Lighting.  Use timers to activate inside lighting, radios, or TVs.

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Telephone Answering Machine.
 Set the telephone answering machine so that the rings do not exceed three or four.  A telephone ringing for a long time many times through the day and night is an indicator that the home is empty.  If you do not have an answering machine then turn the ringer down, disconnect the phone, or discontinue your telephone service for the period necessary.  Do not leave a message indicating you are away on vacation!

Keys and Locks.  Don't hide keys in mailboxes, under door mats, or any other place that burglars will know to look.  Leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor.  For more information on locks and locksmiths click here.

Structural Protection, Fences and Landscaping.  For more information on types of doors, locks, windows, shrubs, fences, etc. see our page on "Home Security Tips".

Doors.  All doors should be locked.  This includes the doors leading from the garage to the house and the basement door.

Windows.  All windows should be secured to include second story windows.

Security Systems.  Ensure your security system is armed and provide instructions to the central monitoring station (should you have one) to call your cell phone, police, security patrol guard, and/or a neighbor.  To find out more click on Security Systems.

Identity Theft.  While away on vacation secure any important valuables, credit cards, etc. in a safe or safe deposit box.  Make it hard for a criminal to find what he is looking for.  Click here for more information on Identity Theft.

Remove Valuables from Home.  If possible, remove valuables from your home and leave with a family member, trusted friend, or neighbor.

Inform a Neighbor.  Let a neighbor know of your absence.  Ask them to keep an eye on your house, collect daily newspapers, collect the mail, and put garbage out on trash pickup days, etc.

Cancel Deliveries.  Cancel newspaper, milk, and mail deliveries if someone is not going to collect these items on a periodic basis.

Crime Prevention and Neighborhood Watch.  Should your neighborhood have a Neighborhood Watch program let them know your vacation plans.  Click here for more information on neighborhood crime prevention.

Inform Your Local Police Department.  Some police departments encourage you to inform them of your vacation plans.

Firearms in the Home.  Secure any firearms you have in your home in a safe or some other location so that it will be difficult for criminals to find them. Keep firearms safely out of children's reach. Find out the facts by visiting our "Firearms" page.

Grass and Snow.  Arrange to have your walkway and drive shoveled and plowed.  Have the grass cut during your absence.

Car in the Driveway.  Ask one of your neighbors or friends to park a car in your driveway while away.  This will give the appearance of someone being home.


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Home Security Vacation Checklist

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Home Security Checklist
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