With the winter season upon us many people will be travelling for the holidays and planning sunny vacations to the south during the winter months. It is important to take a few moments to think about crime prevention for your home and property before you go. The Upper Ottawa Valley Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind residents to consider the following crime prevention tips while away from their residence:
• Do not announce your trip/vacation plans on social media. Advertising your absence could be an invitation to would-be thieves.
• Arrange for someone to maintain your home so it appears occupied – this includes shovelling the walkways and driveway, picking up mail, flyers and newspapers and placing garbage and recycling containers at the curb for normal pickup.
• Ask trusted neighbours to keep an eye on your residence while you are away and leave your vacation address and phone numbers with them so you can be reached in an emergency.
• Use timers for lights, television or radios.
• Make sure all the locks on the windows and doors function properly and use them.
• Leave the shades and blinds on doors and windows in a position that you normally would have them.
• Ask a neighbour to park in your driveway so it will appear as if someone is home
• Make sure smoke and burglary alarms are functioning properly and armed.
• Consider taking valuables to a safety deposit box.
Your vacation should be an enjoyable, relaxing experience. Following these safety tips will reduce the chance of being victimized and allow travellers to return home to a safe and secure residence.