As we find ourselves locked in what seems to be a never-ending cycle of snow, cold, thaw, snow, cold, many are dealing with it the best way they know, and that is to take a break from it all and head to a warmer climate.
So, I thought a short message on home security would be in order. While we are very fortunate to live in a community where we do not need to bar our windows or gate our yards for fear of intrusion, we should be aware that crime does occur in Kewaunee County.
We should always be vigilant in regard to securing our homes and being observant of what goes on in our neighborhoods. If you are planning on taking a vacation, whether it be for a weekend or the whole season, there are some basic tips to follow.
Don’t advertise the fact that you will be gone from your home. I know it is tempting to tell everyone on Facebook about your pending trip, but be aware that you may not know all who are reading that post.
If you are going to the bank or grocery store, again, don’t advertise that you will be gone, just in case someone is listening. Some people you should tell are your neighbors, so that they may be extra watchful of your property, as well as law enforcement.
Many people don’t realize you can notify law enforcement that you will be away and request extra patrol during that time. While the officers are always looking for suspicious activity, knowing the home should be vacant may be good information if something is out of place.
Always make sure you either have someone pick up your mail or have the post office hold it until you return. The same goes for newspaper delivery. Nothing yells “vacant home” louder than a stack of papers on the front porch.
Also, if you will be gone during the winter months, make arrangements for your driveway and sidewalks to be cleared. Again, this maintains the appearance that the residence is occupied.
It is a good idea to let your financial institutions know where you are going in the event that they start to see transactions from a location that’s different than where you usually are, or where you will be during your trip. Also, upon your return, it is advised to check your various accounts to make sure that those transactions made while you were out playing tourist are actually your purchases.
If you are vacationing this winter season, I hope your travels are safe and you find warmer temperatures.
Matt Joski is Kewaunee County Sheriff.