ReadyNotifyPA is a system that helps local officials in Southeastern Pennsylvania send emergency text alerts and other notifications to you quickly. ReadyNotifyPA can send these to your cell phone, pager, BlackBerry, PDA and/or E-mail accounts. Click here for more information.
THE BURGLARY BASICS
- Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.
- Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
- Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Don’t allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
- Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
- Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
- Pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
- Sliding glass doors are vulnerable stick a broomstick or dowel rod in the track of sliding glass doors. Special locks are also available for better security.
- Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.
In the new age of social media don’t announce that your not home by posting on the various public sites such as Facebook and Twitter etc. People often forget that when they “post pictures or check in” at certain places like the airport or a vacation resort that you are literally telling the whole world that you are not home.
Also avoid posting your future or daily routines or itinerary (ie. going to gym) which also tells people when you plan on not being home.
DON’T TEMPT A THIEF
- Lawn mowers, snow blowers, barbecues and bicycles are best stored out of sight.
- Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
- Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
- Never leave notes on your door such as “Gone shopping.”
PRUNING FOR SAFETY
We love the green streetscapes of Mt. Airy! Many of us chose to live in this neighborhood for its mature street trees and yards full of flowering plants.
BUT how much is too much? The dedicated patrollers of Carpenter’s Woods Town Watch, who take time every week to watch the safety of our area and be seen doing it, want you to know that how you prune affects safety for all of us:
- Some shrubs are so tall and wide that they can fully hide a crouching perpetrator.
- Hedges and shrubs, both along the street or up by the house, can prevent patrollers from seeing whether a prowler is about to open your window! If we can’t see them, we can’t report what they are doing.
- Plantings of all sizes can block light from sidewalks, stairs, and porches.
So, WHEN and HOW should we prune? Consider the following guidelines:
- How much to cut? Shrubs near the sidewalk are safest when they are less than 36” tall. Stand on your sidewalk and LOOK at your house as if you were a burglar. Cut branches that hide doors, windows, and porches.
- When to cut? For maximum flowering on any shrub, prune right after the blossoms fade. But if you plan to cut the plant significantly (more than a third, say) it is best for the plant if you work in your winter coat – that is, while the plant is dormant, between Thanksgiving and Easter/Passover. Prune dead branches or invasive plants any time.
A radically cut shrub will look skimpy for a while, but like a severe haircut it will soon fill out again, and it may even look healthier than before you started. In any case, Carpenter’s Woods Town Watch thanks you for keeping us all safe!
LOCKS…GET THE BEST
- No lock, regardless of its quality, can be truly effective. Key-in dead bolt locks provide minimum security. Ask a locksmith for advice on your situation.
- Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
- When moving into a new home, have all locks changed.
TARGETING THE OUTSIDE
- Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
- Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
- Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.
- Most windows can be pinned for security.
- Drill a 3/16″ hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and halfway into the outside frame – place a nail in the hole to secure the window.
ALARMS OR VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS
- An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There is a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
- Also consider a home surveillance system with recording capabilities and multiple cameras that can not only protect you and your property but keep an extra eye on your street.
- Make several inquiries to different companies for the best security system available to you.
IF YOUR HOME IS BROKEN INTO
If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:
- Do not enter – the perpetrator may still be inside.
- Use a neighbor’s phone to call police.
- Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
- Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
- Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.
OTHER PRECAUTIONS YOU SHOULD TAKE
- Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other “secret” hiding places — burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
- Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home — this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
- Trim your shrubbery around your home to reduce cover for burglars.
- Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 911 immediately.
- Mark your valuables with your driver’s license number with an engraver. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
- Think like a burglar. “Case” your home the way a burglar would and look for easy ways to enter your home.
The MOST important thing YOU can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a CRIME or any SUSPICIOUS activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes!
Remember the three L’s of Crime Prevention: LIGHTS, LOCKS & the LAW!
Light up your residence, lock your doors at all times, and call the Law when you see something suspicious.
The above tips were accumulated off various sites via the internet.