During Spring Break many residents head out of town, creating more opportunities for burglars looking for an empty house.
In an effort to keep crime to a minimum, the Newport Beach Police Department is reminding residents to make sure their homes are safe during a Spring Break getaway.
- Sign up for a “Vacation Check” with the Newport Beach Police Department, prior to leaving on your vacation. There are two ways you can sign up: Visit nbpd.org, select “Online Services” then "Vacation Check" or Call the Police Department’s business line at 949-644-3717 and request a “Vacation Check.”
- Always close and lock ALL windows and doors! Don’t forget your exterior garage door too.
- Make sure your home is well-lit both inside and out! Inside – place lamps and a radio on timers. The timers should be set to go on and off as though someone is home. Set your radio to a talk station, and allow it to come on both during the day as well as in the evening. Exterior – all porch lights should go on at dusk and off at dawn automatically, with the use of a timer or photo cell. Consider using motion detector lighting within courtyards, over bedroom windows, and along the sides of the house.
- Adjust blinds and draperies to make your home appear occupied.
- Arrange for a friend or neighbor to check on your home regularly. This includes picking up your newspaper and bringing in your mail. This is far better than placing a hold on your mail or canceling the paper. The less people who know you are away, the better! Ask neighbors not to tell strangers or repairmen of your absence.
- If you have a delivery scheduled to arrive while you are away, arrange for a neighbor to retrieve the package for you so that it is not left sitting at your front door.
- Arrange to have your lawn mowed while you are away and your trashcans taken to the curb on trash day.
- Ask your neighbor to park in your driveway, if it’s convenient. Once again, giving the appearance that someone is home.
- Never hide a key outside! Instead consider providing a key to a trusted neighbor or friend in case of an emergency.
- Put jewelry, watches, and other items of value in a safe deposit box or hide them in a safe place – these items should NOT be stored in your master bedroom.
- Electronics are often a target for burglars so store iPads and laptops out of plain sight.
- If you have a safe, big or small, it should be bolted in place.
- Never leave a note on the door, indicating you are away.
- Never leave a message on your answering machine indicating that you are away.
- While on vacation, be careful not to advertise you are away by posting photos on social networking sites like facebook.
- Remember, burglars are looking for an empty house, always make sure your home looks occupied when you are away!