Are you thinking of getting away this summer?
Now that graduation week is behind us, it’s time to load up the car and hit the road. But before you do, be sure to safeguard your home and possessions. Law enforcement officers are constantly on the lookout for ways to reduce burglaries and thefts because we know just how upsetting a burglary can be.
People who are victims of a residential burglary often tell us it is one of the most intrusive events they have ever experienced. Imagine what it would feel like to have someone you don’t know rummaging through the most private areas of your home—your bedroom or your dresser drawers, for example. That just isn’t right.
Two-thirds of all burglaries are residential and of those, 62 percent occur during the daytime between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., when no one is likely to be home.
So, whether you’re planning a long vacation, a simple weekend getaway, or even just leaving the house for the day, here are some tips to help you secure your home.
Don’t mention details about your vacation on social networking sites until you return. Telling everyone about your amazing trip at an exotic beach or great camping spot can be fun, but please be cautious. Posting your travel plans is like advertising for professional burglars. They love to know exactly when you will be gone!
Please, post those great pictures of your trip after you get back home.
Newspapers, Mail and Deliveries
When crooks see extra newspapers and mail piling up, they get excited because that house looks like an easy target. Before you leave, stop all mail and newspaper deliveries; or have a trusted neighbor, friend, or relative pick them up on a daily basis. Make sure they also pick up any special deliveries from USPS, FedEx or UPS, and ask them to take trash cans to the curb on trash day.
If you can, hire a house sitter or have a friend stop by while you’re away. It’s also helpful to have a neighbor park their car in your driveway, or place a couple house lights on timers so your house looks lived in.
At a minimum, give a trusted neighbor a way to reach you in case our officers need to get in touch. In fact, before you go, call us and let us know when you’ll be gone, how to reach you, and request a vacation home check of your residence.
Sometimes, people forget to lock their doors and windows (including second-story windows). Double check before you leave, and think about placing a bar or pole in window tracks to prevent windows from being forced open. Lock any pet doors, too. Burglars often use these to break into residences.
Finally, if your home is equipped with an alarm system, please use it! Ensure the alarm system is working properly and tell the alarm company your vacation plans. Don’t forget to share the alarm information with someone who can respond to assist us if you’re away. And consider getting exterior motion lights. These lights are a tremendous theft deterrent.
Finally, We Need Your Help!
Law enforcement’s most powerful crime-prevention tool is helpful neighbors and engaged citizens. Officers cannot be everywhere all the time, but we can arrive anywhere in Ukiah very quickly when people in local neighborhoods and business districts alert us to a potential problem. If you think something’s wrong, call us! You don’t need proof. If something seems out of place or a little suspicious, trust your instincts and get in touch with us so we can investigate.
A great vacation includes coming home to a secure house, so before you leave, make sure you take these simple steps.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.