Vacation & House Watch Information

Your vacation should be a pleasant experience for you and your family. Take a few simple steps to reduce the possibility of becoming a victim of a burglary or other criminal acts against your home. The time spent preparing your home for vacation could save you money later.

How to Request a Vacation Watch


The Riverside Police Department now offers residents a convenient option to request vacation watches online at Frontline Public Safety Solutions. Simply click the submit button and enter your information into Frontline PSS. Residents may still complete the Vacation Watch Form and return it to the Police Department Records Section.

Submitting this request does not remove your responsibility as a homeowner from making every attempt to protect your property while you are away by securing doors/windows, putting lights on timers, stopping mail/newspaper service, etc.  Please also keep in mind that the Riverside Police Department will make every effort to check your property, but only as priority or call volume allows.

Before you leave for your trip:


  • Notify police of the departure and return dates of your trip and provide the name and telephone number of a neighbor or relative to notify in the event of an emergency. Vacation Watch Form
  • Place a "vacation hold" on newspaper subscriptions, mail delivery and include the vacation start and end dates.
  • Ask a neighbor to pick up newspapers and mail if the "vacation hold" was not followed. Ask them to remove throwaway papers and circulars from the doorway and mailbox.
  • Place interior lights and a radio on timers to give the appearance that the home is occupied.
  • Have front exterior lights on photocells that activate in the evening and shut off at daybreak.
  • Notify neighbors of your absence and encourage them to contact the police regarding any suspicious activity at your home.
  • Arrange to have the grass cut and watered, leaves raked and the sidewalk and driveway shoveled during the winter.
  • Remove all tools, lawn implements, garbage cans and yard furniture to the garage, basement or shed.
  • Unplug all non-essential electrical appliances such as computers, fans, televisions, irons, washer and dryer to avoid damage from electrical storms.
  • Be sure the sump pump is functioning properly and free from debris to avoid basement flooding.
  • Set the home thermostat at a reasonable temperature - 85 degrees in the summer and 50 degrees in the winter.
  • Make sure all entry points into the home are secure.
  • Close the fireplace flue to prevent birds and animals from entering.
  • If you have an alarm system, leave a current list of contacts with the alarm company in case of system activations. False alarms may be fined.
  • Disconnect the electric garage door opener and lock the garage door.
Be sure all vehicles left at home are locked and remove all valuables.