By Officer Tim Mitten
Community Action Officer
Black Mountain Precinct

It’s summer in Phoenix and that means a few things, it’s going to get hot and, as most people in Phoenix do, they leave for extended periods of time to cooler climates. While summer vacations are definitely needed to escape the heat, recharge from work, raising kids, etc. it’s also a busy time for burglars as they know it’s a good time to strike. Here are some basic vacation security tips that you should consider utilizing to safeguard your home and valuables.

I have listed some travel security tips for those of you traveling out of state or internationally.

• Never leave your house key hidden outside your home.

• Ask a neighbor to watch the house while you are away. It is a good idea to leave your vacation address and telephone number with a trusted neighbor so you can be reached in case of an emergency.

• Stop all deliveries and arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail, newspapers and packages that may get delivered.

• Arrange for someone to maintain your yard to give the home a lived in look.
• Plug in timers to turn on lights and a radio or television on and off at appropriate times.

• Turn the phone ringer off and do not announce your absence on voicemail.

• Try not to post on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook your vacationing status. You never know who could be viewing your activities, such as friends of friends you have allowed to see your site.

• Leave your blinds, curtains or shades in a normal position. Do not close them unless that is what you normally do.

• Close and lock garage doors (including door entering house from garage), all doors leading to the exterior of the house and windows. Ask a neighbor to park a car on occasion in your driveway or if you leave a car at home park it as you normally would. Vehicles parked outside should be moved occasionally to appear that they are being used.

• Do not leave any valuables in plain view in cars.

• Lock and secure all gates, storage sheds, and even electrical boxes.

• Contact the Black Mountain Precinct at 602-495-5002 and request a vacation watch to cover the time period you are gone.

It is natural for everyone to be concerned for their homes and valuables when they leave on vacation, and there is no guarantee that your home will not be burglarized while you are gone. By taking these simple precautions you can lower your chances of becoming a burglary victim and give you some peace of mind while you are away.