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Citizen Services

Vacation Tips

Vacation is a time to relax; however, keep your common sense working. Below are some tips to help you in preparing to leave on your vacation and to help you stay safe while you visit.

Around the House

  • When going on vacation or out-of-town for any reason:
  • Don't publicize vacations ahead of time. Burglars watch for newspaper accounts.
  • Stop deliveries of newspapers and mail.
  • An Authorization to Hold Mail card (PS8076) may be obtained from your mail delivery person or picked up at your nearest Post Office. Or – have a friend pick them up while you are gone.
  • Arrange to have the lawn mowed.
  • Leave information where you can be contacted in an emergency with a trusted neighbor and ask them to keep an eye on your house.
  • Give your house a lived-in appearance.
  • Have a neighbor occasionally use your garbage can.
  • Put automatic timers on several lights and a radio. Set them so they will turn on and off at random times in different rooms, especially the bathroom.
  • Do not leave lights on 24 hours a day.
  • Leave drapes in a normal position to maintain a lived-in appearance.
  • Turn the bell on the telephone down to low.
  • Have a neighbor park in your driveway or in front of your house.
  • Contact the WCSO and ask for a deputy to conduct security checks of your home and property while you are away. This service is free to the public.

On the Road

While you are on your vacation, you can greatly increase our protection by taking the following safety precautions.
  • Carry traveler's checks instead of large amounts of cash.
  • Always carry wallets, purses and bags securely. (Do not leave purses on chairs, under tables or on restroom hooks.)
  • Keep your cash, jewelry and valuables (such as passports, cameras and airline tickets) locked in your hotel safety deposit box or safe.
  • Keep track of your keys. (You may consider returning your hotel room key to the front desk while away from your room.)
  • Do not leave room keys lying around the swimming pool.
  • NEVER pick up hitchhikers.
  • Never leave your keys in unattended car, even while running a quick errand or filling up with gas.
  • While driving, travel on main roads and use maps.
  • Lock any packages, cameras, clothing or other valuables in the trunk when you leave your car.
  • At night, park your car in a well-lighted area. Remember to lock doors and roll up windows.
  • Be wary of solicitors.
  • Travel in pairs or groups if possible.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings. Should you see anything suspicious; call 911.
  • ALWAYS lock your hotel room door, even if just going for ice. Intruders much prefer to walk in rather than crash in.