Vacation is a time for fun and enjoyment . You can make each trip more enjoyable and carefree if you take a few simple steps to reduce the possibility that your house will be burglarized or vandalized while you are gone. A vacant house, or one that appears to be unoccupied, is an appealing target for a burglar.
- Make sure all locks on the doors and windows function properly and use them.
- Give your house a lived-in appearance. Put automatic timers on several lights, a radio, and a television. Set the timers so that the lights and appliances will turn on and off at random times.
- Leave shades and blinds in a position that you would normally leave them.
- Arrange for a neighbor to pick up mail, newspapers, and any other packages. Ask your neighbor to use your driveway and garbage cans while you are away.
- Make sure smoke and burglar alarms function properly and are armed.
- Turn the ringer on your telephone down low or off and do not leave your lights on 24 hours a day.
- Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to watch over your property while you are gone and leave emergency contact information with them.
- Leave a normal message on your answering machine and avoid discussing your vacation plans in public.
- Contact the Columbia Police Department at (573) 442-6131 or (573) 874-7652 and request a vacation “watch in passing”. Officers will be made aware that you are not home and will drive by the area more frequently.
- Create an inventory of your property.
- Never carry large amounts of cash;
use traveler’s checks.
- Keep a record of your traveler’s
check numbers and your credit card
numbers in a safe place.
- Be aware of your surroundings and
never advertise your plans to
- Carry a flashlight with fresh
batteries, flares, a fire extinguisher,
and a first aid kit.
- Do not stop to offer help to a
stranded motorist. Go to the nearest
phone booth and call for assistance.
- If your car breaks down, raise the
hood and attach a white cloth to the
antenna. If someone stops to help, it
is advisable that you stay in your
locked car and ask them to call the
police or a garage. If you must
abandon your car, keep all
- Always lock your car when entering
or leaving it.
- Always lock valuables out of sight,
preferably in the trunk. Always
carry wallets, checkbooks and purses
- Do not advertise that you are a
tourist. Place maps and travel
brochures in the glove compartment.
- Park in well-lighted, busy areas.
- Check the back seat before getting
into your car.
Motel & Hotel Security
- Determine the most direct route to
and from your room, to the fire
escapes, elevators, and nearest
- When occupying or leaving your
room, use all auxiliary locking
devices on doors and windows.
(You may want to purchase a
portable door lock for traveling.)
- Unpack and place belongings in the
closet and dresser. Arrange your
things so you’ll know if anything is
- Never leave money, checks, credit
cards or car keys in the room. Take
them with you.
- Place extra cash, expensive jewelry
or other valuables in the hotel/motel
- Report any lost or stolen items to the
hotel/motel management and to the
- Report to the management any
suspicious movements in the
corridors or rooms.
Keep This Important List of Numbers With You on Your Vacation
Vehicle make/model ______________________________________________
Vehicle I.D. # ____________________________________________________
Auto Tag # ______________________________________________________
Driver’s License # ________________________________________________
Number to call if lost/stolen _________________________________________
If lost, call _______________________________________________________
Other Useful Numbers
Home Physician __________________________________________________
Relative or _______________________________________________________
Insurance Co. ____________________________________________________
Prescription numbers ______________________________________________