Editorial: Vacation

It’s August, and though many of us are on vacation, potential criminals are not.

If you plan on going on vacation, do your best to have your house appear occupied. Have family, friends or neighbors keep an eye on your house and give them your contact information while away.

Save the sharing — Never announce your vacation plans online including travel or vacation blogs, email groups, Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites. If you “check in” on those sites at a distant location, everyone knows you aren’t home. Save the sharing for when you return.

Lock it up — Install good locks on doors and windows and make sure they are locked. (And while we’re at it, make sure your car is locked while on vacation, and always!) Never leave a key hidden outside, under a pot, mat, or fake rock — criminals are wise to all of that.

Somebody’s home — Nothing alerts a criminal like piled up newspapers, mail and packages. Stop all deliveries or arrange for someone to pick them up. Not only does it say no one’s home, it also leaves mail and packages vulnerable to theft, identity or otherwise.

Arrange for someone to mow your lawn and maintain the yard while you are away. This keeps your home looking lived in.

Place your inside lights and a radio on timers so they go on and off periodically in the evening hours.

Hide your garbage cans out of sight. If your garbage cans are empty when everyone else’s are full, it is a sign you are not at home.

Be sure to close and lock the garage door, too.

Leave your blinds and drapes in their normal position on second floor windows (closed on ground level so no one can look inside and view an empty home).

Be safe, not sorry — When you return home if it looks like someone has entered your home police advise to not go inside. Instead use a cell phone or go to a neighbor’s  house or other safe location to call the Wilton Police Department at 203-834-6260. Let the police check the home before you go inside.

Precautionary steps before you leave behind all your worries and head off to a fun vacation will ensure you won’t have double the worries when you get back.