Message from the Chief Commissioner

Crime Prevention & Community Safety

When you are on holiday

Release date: Wed 29 August 2007

Last updated: Mon 25 February 2013

Home & property

There are things you can do everyday to help make your home safer but when you are on holidays it is not as easy. A home that looks unattended is generally an easier target for a burglar.

The key to deterring burglars while you are away is to make your home look like someone's at home. Before heading off on holiday, here are some easy tips to prepare your home:

  • Leave a radio on and tune it to a talkback station
  • Use a timer on lamps to make if look like someone is inside
  • Cancel deliveries, such as newspapers, or have a trusted person collect it for you
  • You should also have a trusted neighbour, relative or Neighbourhood Watch Area Coordinator empty your letterbox and take your bin out and in, even if it is empty
  • Hang some old clothes on the line and leave old shoes outside the front door
  • If you are going away for an extended period of time, consider getting a house-sitter and arrange for someone to mow your lawn 
  • Try not to leave invitations or notes about holidays in plain view such as stuck on the fridge, next to the phone or on a whiteboard
  • If you are out for the evening, leave a light on and close the curtains.

Here are some tips to manage your phone and messages before you go on holidays:

  • Divert your home phone to your mobile or lower the volume on your phone 
  • On your answering machine say 'We can't come to the phone right now' rather than 'I'm on holidays and will be back on...'
  • If you live alone, say 'We can't come to the phone right now' rather than 'I can't come to the phone right now'.

Absence from home register

Many police stations operate an Absence from home register, where you can leave your contact information and the times and dates that you will be away.

Police can use this information to perform checks in the area during usual patrols. If using this service, be sure to notify police when you return, especially if returning earlier than planned.

For further tips for the everyday care of your home visit the 'General security tips' link on the right side of this page.

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