With the Christmas/New Year's holiday season approaching, many of us are looking forward to time off and, perhaps, a vacation. While a lovely trip to a deliciously warm climate, or a fascinating holiday in another country is a wonderful break, if we are not careful, a sad homecoming might await us. Before leaving home for a vacation it is essential to take the time to take precautions against burglary.
Each summer, when we ask our police officers at Nassau County's 6th Precinct for some vacation tips, the answer is pretty much the same---use some common sense and take the time to take the precautions that can make all the difference. The same vacation tips apply to winter vacations.
First and foremost, when away always leave lights that will go on and off, on a timer. That includes outside lights too!
In order to further have it appear that someone is home, leave a car in the driveway--and not hidden away in the garage as many people are most likely to do.
Another simple safety measure is letting your neighbors know that you will be away. First, they can check the house, making sure that it is secure at all times and that no strangers are about. Second, having these neighbors walk around and about the house a few times will make it appear to someone watching that the house is not empty.
Of course, an alarm system is a wonderful safety enhancement.
And the 6th Precinct always offers its own vacation safety system. When you are about to leave for a vacation, call the police and let them know just when you will be gone, where you can be reached (in an emergency), who (if anyone) will be at your house at any time, and what cars will be parked in the driveway. The police will then check your house more often, and with an ''educated eye'' on how things should be there. Just call the 6th Precinct at 573-6600, or call your village police force.
Start your new year, and your new millennium, off right, with a safe homecoming!
Wendy K. Kreitzman