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Tips While Away

Tips While Away

May contain: handle, indoors, and interior design

From the Curb

  • Be sure your house numbers are visible from the street for emergency service such as police, fire and ambulance.
  • Contact the Post Office and newspaper to put your services on hold while you are away.
  • Try to stop ordering online a week or so before you go so that no packages pile up on your porch.
  • As a neighbor or friend to collect mail, newspapers, and packages to prevent a buildup in front of your house that indicates nobody has been home for quite a while.


  • Trim your shrubs and trees to open the line of sight to your home for your neighbors in several directions.
  • Be sure shrubs and trees are trimmed to prevent concealment of intruders.


  • Install entrance and exit lighting, such as front and rear door lights.
  • Install security lighting operated by an electric eye or timer, every night, all night, giving your home a perimeter of light.
  • Use a timer to automatically turn interior lights on and off at set times, giving the appearance that somebody is home.

External Doors

  • Ensure that all external doors are metal, solid wood, solid wood frame or at least solid core construction.
  • Equip external doors with “good” deadbolt locks that have at least a 1-inch throw.
  • Be sure the strike plates are installed with 3- to 4-inch screws, anchored well into the stud behind the door frame.
  • Glass sliding doors should be pinned to prevent being forced open and the upper track should be secured with large pan head screws to prevent lifting.
  • French doors and double doors should be fitted with flush bolts at the top and bottom edge of the inactive or secondary door.
  • If a door leads from the garage to the interior of the home, be sure that it is equally secure as an external door.
  • Do not hide keys under mats, in mailboxes or in other common hiding spots.


  • Keep your windows locked and secure at all times, including on hot summer nights.
  • Be sure wooden windows are “pinned” on both sides, from the inside.
  • Fit aluminum windows with secondary locking devices, easily removed, in case of fire.

Garages and Vehicles

  • Use curtains or film in the garage windows to prevent viewing the interior of the garage from the outside.
  • Keep your garage door down and locked at all times.
  • Never leave your vehicle running and unattended (even to warm it up on cold days).
  • Don’t leave valuables inside your vehicle. If you must leave valuables, secure them out of sight in the vehicle.
  • Don’t leave your car windows down or doors unlocked; keep car doors locked even when the car is in your garage.


  • Alarms offer additional security, but should never be substituted for good locks.
  • If you have a residential alarm, make sure it is armed and working properly. It is always a good idea to give the code to a trusted friend or neighbor in case the system malfunctions while you’re away.

To report a crime or suspicious activity, call Arapahoe County Dispatch at 303-795-4711.

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