International Travel Safety Tips

May 26, 2017 in crime prevention, Current News, security, tips, travel by fpsesafety

The following post is from: Safety & Security

Get a cellphone with free roaming and a global data plan – AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile all offer these plans. Having access to a cellphone can increase security by allowing you to contact people back home, the police, and your embassy.

Hide or turn off your home’s wifi before you leave – depending on your service plan, this may save you money. But it can increase your virtual security while you’re gone and prevent people from using your internet.

Check the government’s travel warnings and alerts – this list provides comprehensive information on crime, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and more. The government also provides resources on ways to stay safe during these travel warnings, such as recommended vaccinations to get and safe places to go.

Leave your major electronics at home – If you can, leave your expensive tablets and laptops at home; they’re likely to be stolen and contain important information, such as your social security number, credit/debit card numbers, and passwords. If you can’t leave your laptop or tablet at home, secure the device before you go by clearing cookies and browsing history on your browser, removing saved passwords, and encrypting important files. Back everything up to the cloud or external storage device so that if something bad happens you do not lose everything. Always assume the wifi available is unsecure and do not visit websites such as bank websites.

Make photo copies of your passport – and keep a copy on your phone, a USB drive, and in your hotel room in case you lose your passport (or it gets stolen). Carry your passport on you; some police security on train stations in Europe will check your passport. Keep it close to your body in an inside jacket pocket. Don’t keep it with your money or debit/credit cards, and don’t wear it in a bag around your neck. Those are easy targets for pickpockets.

Learn some phrases or download a translation app – Make sure you could find your way to a hospital or embassy in case of an emergency. Translation apps can help you communicate with locals who don’t speak English.

 

 


Above and Beyond Tips for Home Protection. How Good is Your Deadbolt?

April 21, 2017 in break ins, burglary, crime, Crime Tips, deadbolt, safety tips, security by fpsesafety

The following post is from: Safety & Security

There are many factors that can make your home a better target for burglary than other homes. For example, your house is at greater risk if:

  • It sits on a corner lot (more visible to a browsing burglar and a natural place to stop and ask for directions)
  • It is located close to a major highway exit (less than 1 mile)
  • It is located on a through street, which gives a burglar a quicker escape (dead-end streets and cul-de-sacs are safer)
  • It borders a wooded area or playground (provides concealed access for burglars)
  • It is in a wealthier neighborhood
  • It features no signs of young children living there (burglars avoid as someone may be home)
  • It was recently purchased (burglars know you haven’t yet developed close familiarity with neighbors)

 

What can you do to prevent yourself from being a target or stop a criminal if they try to get in? You probably know some of the more common tips, such as:

  • Install a burglar alarm and/or put up an alarm system sign.
  • Don’t let mail and newspapers build up.
  • Set lights on timers to give the appearance someone is home.
  • Have motion activated exterior lights.
  • Adopt a dog that will make noise if they hear someone attempting to get in.

 

But there are actually easy ways to make your house considerably more secure. One especially important way to prevent break ins is actually pretty simple. Have a good deadlock. 65% of break ins occur by forcing a door open. 12% occur because the criminal finds your “hidden” key.

“I have a deadlock, so I’m safe.” Not necessarily. St. Louis is filled with older homes, and many deadlocks are outdated. Do you know the grade of your deadlock? You should always go for Grade 1 deadbolts, they are the most effective. Shorter deadbolts makes it easier to break your door. For example, look at this older deadbolt compared to a newer Grade 1 model:

deadbolt

“I have a new deadbolt, so I’m safe.” Once again, not necessarily. A deadbolt is only as effective as the nails you use. How long are the nails that connect your deadbolt to your door frame? Many come with short 1/2 – 1 inch nails. With nails that short, it is easy to break the frame of your door. You should replace all of your nails with ones at least 3 inches long. These longer nails will go into the studs of your house and make it extremely hard to break down your door. Look at this example:

nail

Simple things like having better deadbolts and nails, locking up when you leave, not leaving an accessible “hidden” key, and working together with your neighbors to keep an eye on your block are effective ways of protecting your home. Remember, not all locks are built the same. Don’t let this be you:

door

Abby Orscheln – Safety and Security Intern

Thank you to “The Family Handyman” for providing information and photos on deadbolt improvement.  Visit their website to learn how to install new deadbolts/nails yourself.

Information on houses being targets was taken from a research study, “Knowing Your Odds: Home Burglary and the Odds Ratio,” by S. Hakim, G. Renger and Y. Shachamurove, City College of New York and University of Pennsylvania, Sept. 2000


Want to combat crime in Forest Park Southeast?

June 24, 2013 in Forest Park Southeast, security, st louis by Sharon Gutowski

The following post is from: Park Central Development » Forest Park Southeast

The Neighborhood Ownership Model in Forest Park Southeast answers the question “How can we, as residents, make our neighborhoods safer? Empowered and educated citizens work with the police and government on reducing crime in this program backed by many officials including Mayor Francis Slay and the honorable Judge Steven Ohmer.

Police Chief Dan Isom comments, “Our police department has some of the best technology available to law enforcement…Still, it all pales in comparison to the tremendous impact of citizen involvement. When citizens work together with police and prosecutors, it sends a message to criminals…That message is more powerful than any technology we can buy.”

Although many people care about the safety of their neighborhood, it is easy to become complacent when balancing these concerns with the demands of everyday life. After a long day of work, many neighbors juggle social and family responsibilities. While to keep communities safer, familiar routines keeps residents in their comfort zones. And when the ever-present Law & Order re-runs offer the chance to relax, lofty goals about neighborhood involvement retreat into a mental safety deposit box, locked away from another time.

The Neighborhood Ownership Model offers an alternative to the status quo. With multiple ways to get involved, residents can select roles that fit their schedule. It IS possible to have a direct impact on crimes such as robberies and drug use.

Here’s how:

  • Block Captain or Assistant: Each block in the neighborhood may want to have a point of contact that helps educate and mobilize the residence on that block.
  • Citizen Patrol Unit: Neighbors are organized to patrol streets.  These members are trained to identify problems and engage law enforcement to intervene when they believe a crime is occurring.  The members are also trained to understand the needs of your neighborhood and to report back on problems identified during their patrol.
  • Neighborhood Impact Statement: Victims and witnesses of crime are a powerful tool in the criminal justice system.  Cooperation and court appearances can support better prosecution of criminals.  Residents in partnership with the prosecutor on the case, give statements to the Court on the impact a particular crime or type of crime has on their neighborhood.
  • Neighborhood Order of Protection: File for an order by a judge prohibiting a criminal from going into a part of the city either a condition of bond or probation.
  • Court Appearances: Citizen involvement is a powerful tool in the criminal justice system.  Cooperation and court appearances can support better prosecution of criminals.  Residents in partnership with the prosecutor on the case appear in Court on the impact a particular crime or type of crime has on their neighborhood.
  • Victim Support Team: Trained neighbors help support victims of crimes to ensure they have the support they need to manage through the legal system, and have the emotional support of the community.
  • Victim Impact Statements: Victims provide statements to judges to ensure a judge understands how specific crimes and criminals have made a negative impact on their lives.  This is very helpful during the sentencing period.E-mail FPSENOM@gmail.com for more information.

TOMORROW NIGHT – Neighborhood Ownership and FPSE Safety and Security meeting

January 22, 2013 in fpse, nom, security by parkcentral17

The following post is from: Park Central Development

Don’t miss the Neighborhood Ownership Model meeting tomorrow at 6p followed by the Forest Park Southeast Safety and Security meeting at 6:30p See you at Adams Community Center – 4317 Vista Questions? Call Gelinda at 314 535 5311