Vacations provide burglars with plenty of time to enter your home, remove large items and search leisurely for hidden valuables. If you are planning a vacation, take precautions to protect your home while you are away. The key is to create an illusion of everyday activity. Following this checklist will make it appear that someone is home, which is your first defense against burglary.
- Ask the Police Department to check your home and patrol your neighborhood more closely while you are away.
- Discontinue mail and newspaper deliveries, or have a trusted neighbor collect them while you are away so that they do not accumulate. Also ask your neighbor to remove any advertising flyers that are deposited in your mailbox or around your door, driveway or lawn.
- Secure all doors, windows, pet entrances and garage doors. Transfer valuables to a safety deposit box.
- Place timers on indoor lamps and appliances to illuminate your home at night, and set timers to turn on radios and televisions randomly during the day.
- Check that no bulbs are burned out on your indoor lamps, outdoor lighting fixtures or low voltage lighting system.
- Arrange to have your landscaping service continue, and your driveways and walks shoveled.
- Keep some shades and blinds up and curtains open to maintain a normal appearance.
- Have one trusted friend check your home, inside and out, each day.
- Remove messages from your telephone answering machine daily so that the "beep" is always short, and don't indicate on your message that you are on vacation.
For more information on Home Security, go to http://www.burglaryprevention.org/
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has launched a website that is designed to allow Pennsylvania Driver's License and Photo Identification holders the opportunity to easily and immediately upload their emergency contact information to an on-line database accessible only to law enforcement and emergency personnel. The system was developed to save lives by cutting down on the time needed to locate an emergency contact for individuals who may find themselves involved in a situation that renders themselves unable to communicate. In order to participate in this program, please visit the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services webpage and click on the Emergency Contact and Information button. Users will be taken to a secure page where they can enter information for up to two emergency contacts.
Home Security Tips
- Keep all doors and windows closed and securely fastened. An open window or door is an open invitation for burglars. Thieves are also quick to spot weak locks that may be easily forced open. Doors should have deadbolt locks with a one inch throw and reinforced strike plate with three inch screws. All windows should have window locks.
- Secure sliding glass doors. Place a metal rod or piece of plywood in the track and install vertical bolts. These will help prevent burglars from forcing the door open or lifting it off the track.
- Always lock the door to an attached garage. Don't rely on your automatic garage door opener for security.
- Create the illusion that you are home by using timers on lights, radios and TV's. The appearance of an occupied residence, even when no one is home, will deter criminals.
- Keep the perimeter of your home well lighted. Installing low voltage outdoor lighting is a cost-effective way to discourage intruders and illuminate your home.
- Never leave clues that you are away on a trip. Have a trusted neighbor collect mail and newspapers while you are away so delivered items do not accumulate. You can also ask a neighbor to park in your driveway or parking place to make it appear that you are present.
- Keep some shades and blinds up and curtains open to maintain a normal, everyday appearance in your residence.
- Never leave a message on your telephone answering machine telling people that you are away from home. A message that you will return at a certain time leaves your home vulnerable in the interim.
- Keep shrubbery trimmed away from entrances and walkways. While large, ornate hedges may be beautiful, they also provide a hiding place for burglars who need only a minute to break in through a window or door.
The police department would like to remind everyone that anyone that solicits in the Township (besides non-profit groups) must first obtain an official Township permit, which includes a background check. As summer approaches, driveway repair and other scams start to occur. If ever in doubt about someone who comes to your house, call 9-1-1, even if you don’t think it is an emergency. An officer will be dispatched to check it out and verify whether or not the solicitation is legal.
With the approach of warmer weather, here are some safety tips for bike riders:
- Always wear a helmet. Pennsylvania law requires all cyclists under the age of 12 to wear an approved bicycle helmet.
- Do not wear earbuds or headphones.
- Obey traffic laws.
- Obey stop signs and red lights.
- Never ride against the flow of traffic.
- Ride in a straight line with at least one hand on the handlebars.
- Check to be sure your path is clear, and change directions without swerving.
- Use hand signals to indicate when you are turning.
- Make yourself visible.
- Consider wearing bright cycling clothes.
- Put reflectors on your wheels and on the front and rear of your bike.
- At night, a front light and rear reflector are required.
Take care of yourself! Carry drinking water for longer rides and bring your cellphone in case of an emergency.