The Pasco Sheriff’s Office is offering reminders to help residents protect their belongings and to stay safe during the holiday traveling season.
Here are some of those tips, condensed from a sheriff’s office posting:
- Never hide a spare key at an entry point.
- Have someone you trust retrieve your mail, move your trash cans and take care of other routine activities.
- Maintain your landscaping to eliminate hiding places for potential criminals.
- Lock all windows and doors and be sure the locks work.
- Make your home look “lived-in” while away: Use automatic timers or smart devices to control lights at different intervals to make it appear that someone is home.
- Lock the garage door, or unplug the opener to disable it.
- Set your alarm system, if you have one.
- List a trusted alternate contact that’s local with your home security system in case of an emergency.
- Store belongings such as recreational items or tools in a shed or a garage.
- Check all fences are closed and gate latches are secured.
- Share your travel plans with someone close to home while away, so they can quickly report suspicious activity at your home.
- Adjust social media privacy settings not to share travel activities publicly, and don’t share travel plans on your social media platforms prior to travel.
- Do not “check-in” virtually at places, to keep your location private.
- Wait to post travel photos to social media until after you have returned home.
- Be smart about potential scams and your personal safety.
- Practice safe storage of any identification you carry, credit cards and money.
- Tag luggage, including placing a card with your contact information inside your suitcase, and do not leave bags unattended to prevent theft.
- Know how to contact your destination’s local law enforcement and emergency services before you get there.
- If you are traveling internationally, know where the closest embassy is and how to contact them. Keep your important travel documents inside a hotel room’s safe.
Published November 23, 2022