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Vacation Safety

With the summer months upon us, many of our residents will be taking a vacation away from Running Man. I began writing my own pre-vacation check list, but found the following check list on a home security website. You will see a reference to informing your local police department. The York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office does offer a Vacation House Check Program. You will find a link to the program on their website. The web address is: The following checklist is taken directly from that site.

"You certainly do not want to come home from a wonderful vacation to discover your home has been intruded and valuables have been taken. There are measures that can be taken to diminish the risk and some of these are described in the home security vacation checklist below.

Exterior Lighting. Put outdoor lighting on timers, light-sensitive photocell mechanisms, or motion detectors. You want your home to have the "occupied look" in order to deter criminals. All potential entry points such as garage, doors, windows, and basement entry-ways should be illuminated.

Interior Lighting. Use timers to activate inside lighting, radios, or TVs.

Telephone Answering Machine. Set the telephone answering machine so that the rings do not exceed three or four. A telephone ringing for a long time many times through the day and night is an indicator that the home is empty. If you do not have an answering machine then turn the ringer down, disconnect the phone, or discontinue your telephone service for the period necessary. Do not leave a message indicating you are away on vacation!

Keys and Locks. Don't hide keys in mailboxes, under door mats, or any other place that burglars will know to look. Leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor.

Doors. All doors should be locked. This includes the doors leading from the garage to the house and the basement door.

Windows. All windows should be secured to include second story windows.

Security Systems. Ensure your security system is armed and provide instructions to the central monitoring station (should you have one) to call your cell phone, police, security patrol guard, and/or a neighbor.

Identity Theft. While away on vacation secure any important valuables, credit cards, etc. in a safe or safe deposit box. Make it hard for a criminal to find what he is looking for.

Inform a Neighbor. Let a neighbor know of your absence. Ask them to keep an eye on your house, collect daily newspapers, collect the mail, and put garbage out on trash pickup days, etc.

Cancel Deliveries. Cancel newspaper, milk, and mail deliveries if someone is not going to collect these items on a periodic basis.Inform Your Local Police Department. Some police departments encourage you to inform them of your vacation plans.

Firearms in the Home. Secure any firearms you have in your home in a safe or some other location that will be difficult to find them.

Grass and Snow. Arrange to have your walkway and drive shoveled and plowed. Have the grass cut during your absence.

Car in the Driveway. Ask one of your neighbors or friends to park a car in your driveway while away. This will give the appearance of someone being home."

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