By Senior Officer Larry Jacobs

Click here to download the “Out-of-Town” form

Protect your home while you are away for extended periods of time.

Here are some suggested things you can do to make your home safer when you’re out of town.

Put timers on lights, radios, TVs and other electronic devices so they turn on and off during the day and night to make your home appear occupied by people.

Stop mail and newspaper delivery, or have a neighbor pick up mail and packages left at the home.

Keep grass and other landscaping watered and cut.

Ask neighbors to watch your home and report any suspicious activities to police.

Give neighbors your contact information to reach you in case of an emergency.

Disconnect your electric garage door opener and padlock the door on the inside.

Set your burglar alarm and notify your alarm company that you will be away. That way if an alarm occurs while you are gone, the company will not call your home first to verify the alarm but notify police directly. Provide the alarm company with a list of people to contact about the alarm if someone needs to come secure the home after a burglary.

Make your house look “lived in” while you are away.

Be careful about who you notify on social-networking websites like Facebook that you are going out of town.

Fill out an “Out-of-Town” form available from Sandy Springs Police Department. If received by the department two weeks before you leave town, police officers will patrol your house when available. Contact me at for additional information.

Larry Jacobs is a senior officer in the crime prevention division of the Sandy Springs Police Department. He may be reached at