Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Simple Steps to Ensure Security

Kings Forest residents may not have a formal neighborhood block watch program, but they do have several resources to help them ensure the security of their own properties and their neighbors. Top among these is the email capability we now enjoy, with more than half of residents having sent their email addresses to kings_forest_woodnote@yahoo.com. And don't forget we provide police and emergency contact information on the Kings Forest website at www.kingsforest.org.

Resident Cindy Frost emailed the Revitalization Committee several good reminders to ensure the security of your home, based on an article she read recently that listed the top five things burglars look for when casing a location.

1)Burglars do not like dogs. They look for water bowls, food bowls and or leashes. They will simply choose another location.

2)They love tall bushes in front of windows. They can gain access easily without being seen.

3)They will gain entrance from the back of your home rather than the front. Their theory is most people don't have dead bolts on their back doors. If this is the case install dead bolts on all doors.

4)If your mailbox is filled with mail, you're alerting a potential burglar that you are not home.

5)Lights on a timer that come on at the same time is a dead give away you are not home. Run timers at different times.

There are many more useful suggestions compiled by police departments that we've posted at www.kingsforest.org. For example, did you know that you shouldn't lay a bed of river rock near windows or glass doors? Substitute large gravel, which will serve as a noisy deterrent to burglars (rather than readily available missiles).

The Revitalization Committee adds the following suggestions, based on the Neighborhood Watch Program approach adopted by many communities:

1) If you're home during the day, keep an eye out for unusual activity in your immediate vicinity. Write down descriptions of the person(s) and license number of any vehicles and report them to the police.

2) Inform a trusted neighbor if your house will be unoccupied for an extended period. Give that neighbor the means to reach you if an emergency should arise.

3) Look after your neighbor's house when they are away, and ask them to look after yours. This includes collecting mail, newspapers and other deliveries which would indicate at a glance that no one is home.

4) Above all, be concerned. It is the most effective way to reduce or prevent crime and make your neighborhood safe. Spending a few extra seconds watching strangers walking or driving through your neighborhood is enough to prevent a crime.

5)And remember -- Your job is to report crime. The responsibility for apprehending criminals belongs to the police.