You’re going to be gone. You water the plants, turn the key in the lock, and you’re off. You’re leaving behind your most valuable assets, and your house will likely display all of the common signs that nobody’s home. How many times can you ask a friend to check up on your house? Well, if your “friend” is your local police department, the answer may surprise you. Most law enforcement agencies in Florida offer a little known free service called a Vacation House Check Program. Going on vacation is an exciting and relaxing time for many people. However, leaving your home unattended for an extended period can cause concern and worry. This is where the free Law Enforcement Vacation House Check Programs come into play.
Law Enforcement Vacation House Check Programs are services provided by local police departments to residents who are going on vacation or leaving their home unattended for an extended period. The program involves a police officer conducting periodic checks on the residence to ensure that everything is secure and there is no sign of any criminal activity.
Here’s one example of a local municipal program – this one is from the city of Tarpon Springs :
Residents that are going out of town for two weeks or longer can have their home checked by a Police Officer when they participate in the Vacation House Check Program. Residents that are going to be out of town can participate by completing the request form. The resident’s information will be entered into the computer aided dispatch system, and based on a customized schedule; an officer will automatically be dispatched to their home. Residents are urged to complete their Vacation House Check requests at least one week prior to their departure date. Residents that return home early should immediately notify the Police Department in order that any remaining house checks are cancelled.
The program is simple to use, and all that is required is to contact the local police department and request a vacation house check. Most police departments have an online form that residents can fill out to request the service. Some departments may also require residents to provide information such as the duration of their absence, emergency contact information, and any additional information they feel is necessary.
Once the request is received, the police department will assign an officer to conduct the house check. The officer will visit the residence periodically to ensure that the property is secure, and there are no signs of forced entry or suspicious activity. They will also check the doors, windows, and other points of entry to ensure that they are locked and secured.
In addition to providing peace of mind to residents, Law Enforcement Vacation House Check Programs also have other benefits. The program provides an opportunity for police officers to engage with the community and build relationships with residents. It also helps to deter criminal activity in the area as officers conducting the checks are often highly visible and can act as a deterrent to potential criminals.
There are also some important things to keep in mind when using Law Enforcement Vacation House Check Programs. Residents should ensure that their homes are adequately secured before leaving for vacation. This means locking all doors and windows, and ensuring that any valuables are stored away securely. Residents should also inform their neighbors of their absence and provide them with contact information in case of an emergency.
Overall, Law Enforcement Vacation House Check Programs are an excellent service provided by local police departments to help residents feel more secure when leaving their homes unattended for an extended period. The service is simple to use and provides peace of mind to residents knowing that their homes are being checked periodically by a police officer.
Here’s a list from the Tarpon Springs, Florida police department on how to secure your home and prepare for your absence :
Make sure all windows and doors are securely locked.
Have a trusted neighbor or friend keep regular checks of your home. Also, make sure they have a key and your emergency contact information prior to your departure.
Stop delivery of mail and newspapers or arrange for a neighbor or friend to pick them up.
Leave at least two inside lights on timers that have been set to turn on and off in a logical sequence.
Make sure that outside lights do not stay on all night long and use timers or motion sensors.
Have a neighbor park their car in your driveway to give the appearance that someone is home.
Have a neighbor place their trash can at the end of your driveway on trash day, especially overnight.
Make sure that the lawn is maintained and not allowed to get overgrown.
Do not leave valuable equipment outside or storage sheds unsecured.
Notify the Police Department that you are going to be away by completing Vacation House Check request.
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