Security reminders for spring break

The University of Missouri Police Department shares tips for preparing homes and vehicles.

March 20, 2023
Contact: Sara Diedrich, 573-882-3243,

If you are leaving town for spring break, the University of Missouri Police Department recommends a few simple steps to safeguard your home and belongings while you’re gone as well as some tips to prevent package theft.

Before leaving, unplug — it saves energy

  • Laptops/desktops
  • Televisions
  • Modems
  • Coffeemakers
  • Lamps
  • Microwaves
  • Cellphone chargers
  • Surge protectors (flip switch)
  • Space heaters

Secure belongings

  • The best thing to do with valuables is bring them along or stow them out of sight in a closet, locked trunk or lockable storage area.
  • Take bicycles home or inside and lock them to a stationary item.
  • MU students, faculty and staff can register bicycles and electronics with MUPD. If property is lost or stolen, registration increases the chance of getting items back.
    Note: An active MU pawprint and password is required to register.

Prepare room/apartment/house

  • Take out the trash.
  • Clean the refrigerator, and remove anything that has the slightest chance of going bad.
  • Remove any other perishable foods from home.
  • Turn down the heat, but not too low so pipes don’t freeze. Experts recommend no lower than 50 degrees.
  • Place mail on hold with United State Postal Service.

Lock up

  • No matter the floor, lock all windows and doors and remind roommates/other family members to do the same.

Prevent package theft

  • Carefully consider where to have packages delivered.
  • Track the packages after ordering so you'll know when they arrive.
  • Ask a trusted neighbor to hold package.
  • Keep delivery area visible and some of your home security measures obvious.
  • Get a parcel locker.
  • Have packages delivered to office or a P.O. box.
  • Opt to have the deliverer obtain a signature upon delivery.
  • Have packages left at back door, if that is an option.

If leaving a vehicle in a university parking lot or garage over the spring break, remove all valuables, close the windows tightly and lock the doors.

Prevent vehicle break-ins

  • Always lock your car.
  • Remove all valuables from your vehicle.
  • Hide any valuables that you leave in your car.
  • Park in a well-lit and populated area.
  • Never leave your keys in your vehicle.

Staying safe is every Tigers responsibility. Learn more about how to prepare for a variety of emergencies and sign up for emergency notifications by visiting the MU Alert website.

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