Protect your home from potential crime while on vacation

(WFXR) — Nearly 48 million Americans are expected to hit the road or take flight for the July 4 weekend, according to AAA.

Whether you’re going on a family vacation, traveling with friends, or even on a solo adventure, the Wytheville Police Department urges you to take a few precautionary steps to ensure you don’t come home to a crime scene:

  • Check that all your door and window locks, as well as your smoke and burglar alarms, are working properly and are set.
  • Make sure your house looks lived in and not empty.
  • Leave window and door blinds and blinds in their normal position.
  • Ask several neighbors to keep an eye on your house while you’re away. You should also leave your vacation address and phone number with neighbors so they can reach you in an emergency.
  • Have someone pick up your deliveries – like mail, newspapers, and any other packages – and maintain your yard to keep your home looking busy.
  • Have someone place your bins at the curb and put them away after normal pickup.
  • Make sure you have timers for lights, television or radios so they turn on and off at the appropriate times.
  • Turn down or turn off your phone’s ringer volume. Also, if possible, forward your calls to your cell phone or to someone you trust.
  • Leave a normal message on your answering machine, with no mention of your absence.
  • Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway while you’re away to make it look like someone’s home. However, if you leave your car at home, park as you normally would.
  • Consider putting any valuables you can’t live without in a safe.

The authorities also have a few tips to make sure your vehicle stays safe while on vacation:

  • Always lock your vehicle after entering or exiting it.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Check the back seat before getting into your vehicle.
  • Do not leave wallets, checkbooks or purses in your vehicle. As with all other valuables, be sure to place them out of sight (preferably in the trunk).
  • Try not to advertise that you are a tourist.

“Remember, vacations should be an enjoyable, relaxing experience,” the Wytheville Police Department wrote on Facebook. “If you are well prepared, you will reduce your risk of becoming a victim and ruining your vacation.”

About Gene Schafer

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