How to Protect Your Home While You're On Vacation

  • By Spokane C.O.P.S.
  • 15 Jun, 2016

Simple steps to take before you leave to make your home safer

Before you leave for a much-deserved vacation, take a few minutes to protect your home. Thieves look for easy targets, and a few simple steps can make a big difference in minimizing your chances of break-ins.


  1. Don’t let mail pile up. Newspapers on the front doorsteps and a mail slot overflowing with envelopes is a tip off to burglars that a home is vacant. Contact the post office to put a hold on your mail or ask a neighbor to collect your mail daily.

  2. Give the appearance people are home. Set lights and a radio on a timer- the lights and noise will appear to be activity of people inside. Park a vehicle in the driveway. If you’re gone longer than a few days, coordinate with someone to mow the lawn (like a pile of mail, an overgrown yard is a tip off that no one is home). Consider hiring a house sitter to really make the home look lived in.

  3. Don’t announce your departure. It’s tempting to post on social media your excitement for your vacation-but resist it! The posts could be seen by the wrong person, and alert them that your home is vacant.

  4. Designate an emergency contact. Provide a friend or neighbor a spare key and your vacation information so at least one person can get ahold of you if there’s a problem with your house.

  5. Remove the spare key. The only person who may need to enter your home while you’re gone is your designated emergency contact, and you’ve already given them a key. Bring your spare key inside your house. That way, there’s no possibility of a burglar finding it and using it to gain entry into your home.

  6. Unplug electronics. This reduces the chance of a fire (and helps you save on electricity).

  7. Lock away valuables. Don’t leave items like expensive jewelry laptops in plain sight. Instead, secure them in a safe.

  8. Take advantage of the free vacation home check. Volunteers with the Spokane Police department will check the perimeter of your home to make sure it’s safe. Checks can be done Monday through Friday while you’re out of town for up to four weeks. You can schedule checks by calling 622-5885 two weeks ahead of your departure.

A vacation isn't the only time you should be protecting your home. Check out our blog post for tips on protecting your home every day. 

For more crime prevention and safety tips, follow us on Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest , and LinkedIn .
Want to make Spokane a safer place? Volunteer at your local C.O.P.S. shop with one of our crime prevention programs , from lifting fingerprints off of vehicles to catch car prowlers to organizing a block watch for your neighborhood.

Spokane C.O.P.S.

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