Vacation Safety Tips
Practical Safety and Loss Prevention
From Central Illinois Mutual Insurance Company
Vacation Safety Tips
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Before You Go
- Keep your vacation plans to your immediate family. There is no need to let the world know your home may be unoccupied for a time.
- Do not post vacation information or photos on social networking sites until after you return. If you post information before you go, or while you are away, crooks know you are gone.
- Have the post office hold your mail to avoid it piling up. Do the same with your newspaper and other regular deliveries.
- Set several lamps on timers to go on and off at various times. Consider connecting a TV or radio to a timer also. This will give the appearance that someone is home.
- Make sure all doors and windows are securely locked. If your garage door opener has a lock out option, activate it before you leave.
- If you are leaving your car somewhere while flying, remove your garage door opener and any information that might identify your address.
- As an alternative to parking your car, consider a shuttle service to take you back and forth to the airport. This also leaves your car in the garage to add to the illusion you may be home.
- Close the valves to your washing machine and relieve the pressure. This could prevent a major water loss from a burst hose running for days. (Remember to turn them back on when you use the washer again.)
- Arrange for a trusted person to check on your home periodically.
- Let local law enforcement know you will be gone. They may be able to patrol your area more often.
- If traveling by car, have your car inspected and serviced before you leave. Have the shop pay special attention to your tires and brakes.
Enjoy Your Vacation
- As noted above, do not post vacation information or photos on social networking sites until after you return. Tell your children also.
- When staying in hotels, learn the hotel’s emergency procedures and exits.
- If fire starts in a hotel, check your door for heat or smoke before trying to escape. If it is hot to the touch, call for help and try to find another way out. If you exit into a smoke-filled hallway, stay low to breathe and improve visibility.
- If it was necessary to bring valuables along, use the room safe (if available) to store them when not in use. If there is no room safe, contact the front desk.
- Keep your room door secured at all times. Make sure any exterior doors or windows are secured.
- Never open the door without checking who is outside and without knowing why they are there. If you are unsure about the person, call the front desk to confirm this person’s need to enter your room.
- Women should keep their purses secure against them. Men should keep wallets in front pockets. Use caution when walking through crowds to avoid being pick-pocketed. Carry only the minimum cash and valuables you need. Don’t lose your whole vacation in one incident.
- When traveling by car, plan and know your route before you go. Use online mapping services to help you. If you use a GPS, set it before you leave—not while driving.
- Keep your cell phone handy in case of emergency, but do not use it while driving.
- When refueling, stop at well-lighted facilities in high traffic areas. Use this same caution at highway rest stops.
- If requested to pull over by law enforcement, acknowledge the officer, slow down, and proceed to a safe, well-lighted area where other people are around.