The Senior Men’s Club of Aiken got tips from Aiken Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jennifer Bickel about vacation, home security and personal safety at its June meeting.
Before leaving on vacation, Bickel said, notify Public Safety of your absence; advise a trusted neighbor or relative of where you can be contacted in the event of an emergency.
Bickel also said to leave your blinds and curtains the same, and stop mail and newspaper deliveries so nothing piles up in a curbside mailbox or driveway.
See that the lawn and yard will be maintained; use timers for lights and radio to give the appearance of someone being home; bring inside any bikes and lawn mowers; and check smoke and security alarms before departing, Bickel said.
“Don’t put on Facebook that you will be vacationing for some specified period of time. That could be an invitation for thievery,” Bickel said. “Don’t put your correct home address in your GPS. A stolen GPS from your car could lead to further problems if the burglar or an accomplice decides to clean out your home while you are gone.”
Bickel cautioned against displaying expensive jewelry and leaving money or valuables in the car while on vacation. She recommended keeping an inventory of valuable items and recording the serial numbers of TVs, jewelry, computer, guns and valuable pictures.
Bickel said keep the doors locked while at home; keep garage doors down; secure windows; and keep low shrubbery and low hanging tree branches trimmed to make burglary more difficult.
“If you see something that doesn’t look right, call someone,” Bickel said.
Bickel has 10 years of service with Aiken Public Safety, six years on patrol and four years in community service.
The non-emergency number for Public Safety in Aiken is 803-642-7620.