When Leaving Home for Several Days

The following article is the fifth installment on Community Safety by Travis County Sheriff Outreach Deputy James Kitchens.

Protecting your home while you’re away

  • Let a neighbor know you’ll be out of town and when you’ll return.
  • They should have the following: your emergency contact information; contact information for anyone with access to your house (pet sitter, etc.); when they should be expected; what they look like and a description of their vehicle(s).
  • Don’t cancel your paper or mail deliveries; ask that your neighbor pick them up every day.
  • Leave a key with a friend or neighbor; ask that the house be checked at regular intervals.
  • Have the drapes periodically opened and closed and different lights turned on and off so the house appears occupied.
  • Keep your house well lit at night (backyard included).  A motion sensor activated light is an inexpensive deterrent.
  • Store all your valuables.
  • File a Close Patrol Request.  The filing of this form alerts patrolling officers so that they may pay close attention to one’s residence.  To do so: Contact the Travis County Sheriff’s Office at 854-9721.  Ask to make a “Close Patrol Request”.
  • Consider asking friends or relatives to live in your home while you are away.
  • Leave a car in the driveway, or ask neighbors to park in it.
  • Ask your neighbor to put trash in your trashcan and to put it out for collection and away when they put theirs away.

Despite precautions, if intruders are determined to enter and burglarize your home, they can probably do so.  However, burglars usually chose the easiest and least risky target; you CAN take steps to make your house less vulnerable.

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