(WFXR) — Nearly 48 million Americans are expected to hit the road or take to the skies for the Fourth of July weekend, according to AAA.
Whether you’re going on a family vacation, taking a trip with friends, or even going on a solo adventure, the Wytheville Police Department urges you to take a few precautionary measures to make sure you don’t come home to a crime scene:
- Check that all the locks on your doors and windows, as well as your smoke and burglar alarms, are functioning properly and set.
- Make sure your home looks lived-in and not empty.
- Leave the shades and blinds on doors and windows in their normal position.
- Ask several neighbors to keep an eye on your home while you are away. You should also leave your vacation address and phone number with the neighbors so they can reach you in case of an emergency.
- Arrange for someone to pick up your deliveries — such as mail, newspapers, and any other packages — and maintain your yard so your home looks occupied.
- Have someone place your garbage cans at the curb and put them away after the normal pickup.
- Make sure you have timers for lights, television, or radios so they turn on and off at the appropriate times.
- Turn the volume on your phone’s ringer low or off. Also, if possible, forward your calls to your cell phone or a person you trust.
- Leave a normal message on your answering machine, with no mention of your absence.
- Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway while you’re gone so it looks like someone is home. However, if you leave your car at home, park as you normally would.
- Consider putting any valuables you cannot live without in a safety deposit box.
Authorities also have a few tips to make sure your vehicle stays safe and secure while you’re on vacation:
- Always lock your vehicle after entering or leaving it.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Check the backseat before getting into your vehicle.
- Do not leave wallets, checkbooks, or purses in your vehicle. As for any other valuables, make sure to place them out of sight (preferably in the trunk).
- Try not to advertise that you’re a tourist.
“Remember that vacation should be an enjoyable relaxing experience,” the Wytheville Police Department wrote on Facebook. “If you are prepared properly, you will lower your chances of being victimized and having your vacation ruined.”