• Do not list your first name in the telephone book. Instead use initials. 

  • Make sure your answering machine message does not indicate that you are alone. 

  • Have deadbolts installed on all doors. Keep doors and windows locked. 

  • Install a peep-hole on your door and look before opening the door. 

  • Never open the door to strangers. 

  • Keep blinds or drapes closed to discourage "Peeping Toms." Do not hang lingerie outdoors. 

  • Verify the identity of any repairmen. Use the telephone number listed in the phone book, not on their identification. 

  • If someone comes to your door asking to use the telephone, make the call yourself. Don't invite them in. 

  • Don't hide a spare key under the door mat or under a flower pot. Thieves know all the good hiding places. 

  • Plant thorny bushes under all windows. Invest in motion sensor lights and a good security system. 

  • Get a barking dog or "beware of dog" signs. 

  • Always double check doors at night and lock all windows. 

  • Be sure your garage door can be secured. Do not leave it open when you are away; an empty garage broadcasts your absence. 

 

When You Go On Vacation:

 

  • Strive to make your home look as lived-in as possible while you're away. 

  • Do not broadcast your plans publicly on social media sites about your absence but do let your neighbors and local law enforcement know. Give a spare key to your neighbors and give them an emergency telephone number to reach you. 

  • Arrange to have your mail and newspapers either stopped or picked up daily. 

  • Have someone mow your yard or rake the leaves so your house looks lived-in. 

  • Use automatic timers to turn on a radio and lights at different intervals to hide the fact you aren't home. 

  • Turn down the ringer on the telephone. An unanswered telephone is a dead give-away. 

  • Be sure you don't announce your absence on your answering machine message. 

  • Leave your blinds like you normally would if you were home. Only close them all the way if that is what you would normally do. 

  • Be sure to close and lock the garage as well as any storage sheds, gates, etc. 

  • Engrave all your valuables with your driver's license number. If possible videotape the contents of your home. Be sure to keep the video and the list of valuables in a safety deposit box. 

  • Ask your neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway. If you are leaving a vehicle parked outside, have the neighbor move it periodically so it looks as though you are home. 

  • Be sure someone knows your itinerary and your estimated time of arrival and return. Be sure someone knows your itinerary and your estimated time of arrival and return. 

  • If you get lost while traveling, ask directions of local law enforcement, not complete strangers. 

  • Be sure your vehicle is in good working condition and that you have taken enough money. Do not carry large amounts of cash, use credit cards and travelers' checks. 

Safeguarding Your Home

 Legal Notice- effective July 1, 2006 Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.

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