Vacation Safety & Security

Going away on vacation? If you want to let us know your plans, we'll do what we can to help keep watch on your house while you are away. Keep in mind the following tips to help you stay safe during your travels.

When Away on Vacation
  • Do not past your vacation plans on web pages, etc.
  • Leave your itinerary with a friend or relative and check in with them periodically.
  • Plan your touring. Don't discuss your plans with strangers. Beware of strangers who seem overly anxious to help you.
  • Shop with a friend when possible.
  • Stick to well-lighted main streets and public areas.
  • Travel with a friend or in a group when possible. There is safety in numbers.
In a Hotel or Motel Room
  • Be sure that sliding glass doors and doors to connecting rooms are locked.
  • Determine the most direct route to and from your room, to fire escapes, stairs, elevators, and phones.
  • If the desk clerk says your room number aloud when you check in, ask for a different room and have the number written on your key card sleeve and discreetly handed to you.
  • If you feel uncomfortable walking to your room alone, ask the desk clerk to provide an escort.
  • If you haven't requested room service or housekeeping and someone knocks on your door claiming to be a staff member, call the front desk to verify the claim before opening the door.
  • Keep your door locked when you are in your room. Use both the deadbolt lock and the security bar/chain.
  • Keep your windows locked, and blinds and drapes closed for privacy.
  • Report any suspicious persons or activities to the front desk.
  • Safeguard your room key/card at all times.
  • Use the peephole in the door to identify anyone requesting entry. Open the door only if you are certain it is safe to do so.
When Carrying a Purse or Wallet
  • Carry a minimum amount of cash. Use traveler's checks or credit cards whenever possible. Don't display any cash you do carry.
  • Carry a purse with a shoulder strap if you must. Keep the strap over your shoulder, the flap next to your body, and your hand on the strap. When wearing a coat, keep the strap and purse under the coat.
  • Carry your wallet, keys, and other valuables in an inside or front pants pocket, a fanny pack, or other safe place. Don't carry a wallet in a back pocket.
  • Keep a record of your credit card and traveler's check numbers in the hotel safe. Also have the phone numbers to call if your cards or checks are lost or stolen.
  • Keep a tight grip on your purse. Don't let it hang loose or leave it on a counter in a store.
  • Leave credit cards you don't expect to use at home. Bring two cards. Carry one and leave the other in the hotel safe.
  • Never put your purse or wallet on a counter while shopping.
  • Store photocopies of your passport, tickets, and other important papers in the hotel safe.
When Using an ATM
  • Avoid being too regular. Don't use the same ATM at the same time of day and day of the week.
  • Avoid using poorly lighted or isolated ATMs. Complete your transaction as fast as possible and leave the facility.
  • Be aware of your surroundings before and during your transaction, especially between dusk and dawn. Return later or use an ATM in a supermarket or convenience store if you notice anything suspicious, e.g., a person loitering nearby.
  • Do not leave your receipt at the ATM site.
  • Don't go alone.
  • Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up when using a drive-through ATM.
  • Make sure that there is nothing in the slot when you insert your ATM card. Thieves can use a small, hard-to-detect skimming device that's placed over the card slot to capture to steal your PIN and other bank account information.
  • Make sure you are not being followed when you leave an ATM location. Drive immediately to a police or fire station, or any well-lighted and crowed location or open business and get help if you are being followed. Flash your lights and sound your horn to attract attention.
  • Memorize your PIN. Don't write it down or keep it in your wallet or purse.
  • Select an ATM with clear lines of sight in all directions, i.e., at locations with no building corners, shrubs, signs, etc. that provides possible hiding places for an attacker.
  • Shield the keypad when using your PIN so it can't be seen by anyone near you.
While Driving
  • Drive to the nearest open business and call the police if anyone is following you.
  • If your vehicle breaks down or runs out of gas, pull over to the right as far as possible, raise the hood, and call or wait for help. Remain in your vehicle with the doors and windows locked until you can identify any person who comes to help.
  • Keep enough gas in the tank so you won't run out.
  • Keep your doors locked and your windows closed.
  • Know where you are going. Stop and get directions before you get lost.
Protecting Your Home When You're Away
  • Ask the neighbors to watch your home and report any suspicious activities.
  • Contact the Republic Police Department to request vacation home checks when you'll be away.
  • Disconnect your electric garage door opener and lock the door.
  • Keep grass watered and cut.
  • Leave your itinerary with a neighbor so you can be contacted in an emergency.
  • Set your burglar alarm and notify your alarm company that you will be away. Then if an alarm occurs when you are away the company will not call your home first to verify the alarm; it will notify the police directly. Also provide the alarm company with an up-to-date list of persons to contact about the alarm and the need to secure your home after a burglary.
  • Stop mail and newspaper delivery, or have neighbor pick up anything left at the home.
  • Use timers on lights, radios, TVs, etc. to make them go on and off during the day and night to make your home appear occupied.