SANDY, Utah — Sandy residents can now enjoy some extra peace of mind while traveling out of town.
The Sandy City Police Department is now offering a "vacation watch" service, which allows homeowners to request extra police patrols during an extended absence.
Those interested in the service can either phone the police department or go to this web page and fill out the "Vacation Watch - Police" form.
"What that does is it alerts our police department that they're going to be gone, details of how long they're going to be gone, who might be at the home taking care of the home," said Lt. Dean Carriger, Sandy PD. "That information is disseminated to our officers as well as our citizen volunteers at the police department, which make up our mobile watch program."
Residents interested in the vacation watch program will need to provide their departure and return dates, emergency contact information, the names of people who are allowed to be at the home, a description for each vehicle to be left at the property and other important details to help police differentiate between legitimate and illegal activity.
"While the Sandy Police Department cannot guarantee that your home will not be burglarized while you are gone, providing this information will allow Officers and Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS) to make extra patrols by your property and keep an eye out for anything suspicious," the web page states.
Homeowners are asked to request their vacation watches at least three days before the watch is to begin.
In addition to the vacation watch service, Sandy PD offered the following tips for reducing the chances of becoming a burglary victim:
- Arrange with a trusted neighbor or relative to pick up and hold your mail and newspapers so they don't pile up. If this is not possible, notify your news carrier and the post office to hold these deliveries.
- Make arrangements to have the lawn mowed or walks shoveled while you are gone. Have a neighbor check daily to remove papers and circulars left on your door and in your yard. If desired, have your garbage cans taken out and back in on pick up day. All these suggestions give your home an appeared to be lived-in look.
- If you have valuables in your home, take them to your bank deposit box or other secure location. If using a safe in the home, ensure it is bolted to a secure surface (ie; the floor). Deposit extra cash laying around into your bank account.
- Make sure all windows, doors, and locks are in good repair and that all sliding doors and windows are secured with a lock and bar, dowel, sliding bolt, or security pin.
- Set timers to turn on lights and a radio or TV periodically to give your home a lived-in appearance.
- Arrange with a trusted neighbor or relative to watch your home and give them a spare key. Let them know where and how you can be reached in case of an emergency. Write their telephone number down so you can check with them during your time away. Let them know of anyone that might have legitimate access to the house while you are away. Alert them if you request a vacation watch through the Police Department.
- Make certain that all windows and doors are closed and locked. Lock your garage door(s) too! You may even opt to unplug your automatic garage door. Take a walk around the house and check that all doors and windows are properly secured.