Vacation Tips

While You Were Away

A vacant house — or one that appears to be vacant — is an appealing target to a burglar. This is true during the work day when everyone may be at work or school, or during a vacation, a weekend away from home, or a business trip. You can alleviate day-to-day worries and make a trip more carefree if you take a few simple steps to reduce the possibility that your house will be burglarized or vandalized while you are gone.

Although you should always be aware of leaving windows and doors closed and locked whenever you will be out of the home, there are a number of things to consider when you’re going to be away for a weekend or longer.

To help you remember, carry this list with you as you prepare to leave, and check off each item as you do it.

If we can be of any assistance please contact us by email or call us at (503)397-3333.

At Least One Day Before You Leave

  • Notify your news carrier to discontinue newspaper deliveries.
  • Notify the post office to hold your mail OR arrange with a neighbor to pick up and hold your mail.
  • Make arrangements to have grass cut and watered while you are gone.
  • Have someone check daily to remove throwaway papers and circulars from your doorway and yard.
  • If you have valuables in the house, take them to your bank for storage in a safe deposit vault. Deposit extra cash in your bank account.
  • Notify the police department about your departure and return dates and give a name and telephone number of a neighbor or relative to notify in case of a burglary, fire or other emergency.
  • Make sure any broken windows, door locks or window locks are repaired.
  • Arrange with a neighbor or relative to watch your house and give them a key and let them know where or how you can be reached in an emergency. Write their telephone number down so you can check with them during your trip. Give them your car description and license number.
  • Move all ladders, tools, lawn implements, garbage cans and yard furniture to your garage, basement or storage shed.

On The Day You Leave

  • Unplug all electrical appliances such as radios, television sets, irons, washers, and fans to prevent possible damage from electrical storms.
  • Set your thermostat so your furnace or air conditioner will maintain a reasonable temperature – 80 F in summer and 55 F in winter. In winter make sure outside water taps are drained to prevent freezing.
  • Close your fireplace flue to prevent birds or animals from entering.
  • Make sure all gas appliances are in good order and that pilot lights are working.
  • Turn off water to an automatic washer to prevent possible damage from a broken hose.
  • Turn down the volume control on the bottom of your telephone so it cannot be heard from the outside.
  • Close all windows and sliding doors and lock them. Make sure that the “Charley bar” is secure on sliding doors and that all screens or storm windows are locked or fastened.
  • Put window shades in normal daytime position, and make sure all main floor drapes, shades and curtains are arranged so that neighbors and police can see into your house.
  • If you are leaving a car or other vehicle in your driveway, make sure it is locked.
  • Set your electrical timer to turn some lights on and off during the evening hours.
  • Lock your garage door. Make sure the last person out locks the door. Take a walk around the house. Check the doors and windows.
  • If you haven’t already done so, leave your key with your neighbor or relative. Check to make sure you have their telephone number.