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Going on vacation? Secure your home!


Where are you going on vacation? Are you going to the ocean, mountains, or maybe the lake? Your relaxing getaway could be forgotten in an instant, when you walk back into your house and find that your home has been broken into while you were away. How do you prevent a scenario like this? It doesn’t take much time and costs very little.

Here are a few things to add to your vacation planning.

Don’t share your vacation plans on Facebook or social media.

Make arrangements with the post office and newspaper delivery to hold your mail. You can even do this online!

Buy a timer for your lights and TV or radio. Have the timers on different lights so that the same light isn’t on all the time.

Do not leave a key under the doormat, in a flowerpot, or other hiding place near the front door.

Lock up your lawnmowers, weed eaters, bicycles, ladders, and other tools that burglars might use to break into your home

Contact the La Vernia Police Department, in person or by phone, and ask to be included in the House Watch Program. You will be asked for your name, address, phone number, and dates that you will be away. Provide the name and phone number of someone local who can be contacted in case you cannot be reached. The police will check on your home while you are away.

Inventory your valuable items. Photograph and make a list of models and serial numbers of TVs, DVD players, bicycles, tools, lawn mowers, guns, jewelry, and anything else that is valuable. Keep the list in a safe deposit box, at a friend’s house, or even online. Update the list several times a year to make sure it is current. This list will aid police in recovering your items, if they are stolen, but it will also help if you ever need to file a claim with your insurance.

If you are taking your vehicle, pack your car with the garage door closed. Don’t advertise that you will be leaving.

If you have an automatic garage door opener, disconnect it and temporarily remove or tie up the garage door safety-release pull handle. If you do not have an automatic garage door, put a quality padlock in the track of the door, so that it cannot be opened.

Have someone park in your driveway, put out your trash can, and mow your lawn if you will be gone for an extended time. Turn the ringers down on your house phone, if you have one.

Be sure to lock all doors and windows. If you have a sliding door, invest in a lock usually less than $20. Activate your alarm, if you have one.

Following these tips will not guarantee your home will not be burglarized, but it will greatly reduce your chances of becoming a victim.

For more information or to request inclusion in the House Watch Program, call 830-779-4541, ext. 1.

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