Avoid leaving valuables (coin collections, jewelry, large amounts of cash) at home.
Be cautious about providing any information regarding yourself or your neighbors over the phone or in person.
Do not leave keys hidden near exterior doors, under doormats, flower pots, inside the mailbox or other obvious places.
Don't open your door to strangers. Ask for identification of people such as salesmen, repairmen, solicitors, etc.
Keep emergency numbers near your phone for quick access.
Keep tools, ladders, etc., in places inaccessible to potential burglars.
Lock the doors to your home when working in the yard or a secluded part of your house. Keep your keys with you at all times.
Make certain ALL doors and windows are locked before leaving (including garage).
Never leave notes which can inform a burglar that your house is unoccupied.
When moving to a new residence, hire a reliable locksmith to re-key all exterior doors. If possible, have the locksmith make the key to fit all locks.
While away, have lights and a radio or television on a timer to give the appearance that the dwelling is occupied.
Safety Tips While on Vacation
Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway, occasionally place garbage in your garbage can and dispose of any debris that accumulates on your property. If possible, have a neighbor mow your lawn or shovel your sidewalk when needed.
Don't publicize your vacation plans.
Have a neighbor pick up your mail daily. Do not discontinue newspaper deliveries. Have a neighbor collect them for you as well as any advertising circulars you may receive.
If possible, tell a neighbor where you can be reached in an emergency.
If you have a phone answering machine, do not leave specific information about your absence. Keep the message vague.
If you return and find a door or window has been forced or broken while you were absent, do not enter. The criminal may still be inside. Go to a neighbor and call 9-1-1.
Inform your neighbors when you leave and when you plan to return so they can be extra alert for suspicious persons. Leave a key with a trusted neighbor so your house may be periodically inspected. Ask them to vary the position of your shades and blinds. If possible, arrange for a friend or relative to "house-sit" for you while you are gone.
Keep your garage door closed and locked so no one can see if your car is gone.
Set the bell on your telephone on low so that it can't be heard from the street. If you have call-forwarding, forward your phone to a residence of a friend or family member (with their permission of course!).
Use automatic timers to turn lights on at dusk and off at your bedtime. Vary the lights to be turned on and have a radio or TV on a timer. Never leave lights or the radio on constantly. Tune your radio to a talk show so that human voices are heard.