Tips While Away

doorFrom the Curb

  • Be sure your house numbers are visible from the street for emergency service such as police, fire, and ambulance.
  • It is always a good idea to contact the Post Office and Newspaper and have them put your services on hold if you are away. Or, you may want to have your mail and paper collected by a neighbor or friend. This prevents a buildup in front of your house, indicating that nobody has been home for quite a while.


  • Have your shrubs and trees trimmed to “open up the line of sight” of your home for your neighbors from several directions.
  • Be sure shrubs and trees trimmed to prohibit concealment of an intruder.


  • Do you have entrance/exit lighting such as front/rear door type lights?
  • Install security lighting operated by an electric eye or timer, every night, all night, giving your home a perimeter of light around it.
  • There are many low cost light timers available on the market. These timers will automatically turn your interior lights on and off at set times, giving the appearance that somebody is home.

External doors

  • All external doors should be either metal, solid wood, solid wood frame, or at least solid core construction.
  • Have external doors equipped with “good” dead bolt lock which have at least a one-inch throw.
  • Be sure the strike plates are installed with three-to-four 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 or double doors should be fitted with flush bolts at the top and bottom edge of the inactive or secondary door.
  • If there is a door leading from the garage to the interior of the home, then it should be equally secure as an external door.
  • Do not hide keys under mats, in mailboxes or other common hiding spots.


  • Be sure to keep your windows locked and secure at all times, including on hot summer nights.
  • Wooden windows should be “pinned” on both sides, from the inside.
  • Have aluminum windows fitted with secondary locking devices, easily removed, in case of fire.

Garages and Vehicles

  • Use of curtains or film in the garage windows to prohibit 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 then secure valuables out of sight in the vehicle.
  • Don’t leave your car windows down or doors unlocked, keep 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 your away.

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