Neighborhood & Home Safety
“Eyes” on the Street
One great way to keep bad guys off the streets is to fill it with good guys. The more you and your neighbors walk the streets, the more it deters gang members and drug dealers from being there. Please walk your neighborhood as much as you can, and encourage your fellow block residents and dog walkers/owners to do the same.
While you are out there, please let the 48th ward office know of any safety concerns that you notice. This may include graffiti, lights blocked by tree branches, or chronic loitering spots. All of this information is very useful to us in helping to improve the quality of life for our neighborhood. Help our office be the “eyes” on the street. Visit www.48thward.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know of any safety concerns.
Home Safety Tips for Seniors
- Put emergency contact information, doctors, hospitals, pharmacy, etc next to the phone. Make sure the address is listed along with family contact information. Also, make sure at least one of your phones are NOT cordless. These often do not work during a power outage.
- Make sure all doors have a second, dead-bolt lock and preferably one that does not need a key to unlock from the inside. Each door should have a peephole as well, and the area just outside should be well lit at all times.
- Make sure you have the proper amount of smoke alarms, that they are tested at least monthly and that their batteries are changed on a regular cycle (like daylight savings time change.) If you live in a multi-unit building, make sure you know where all the safety equipment and exits are located on your floor.
- The flooring should be easily cleaned, not slippery, and any rugs or pads should have non skid backing to help prevent falls. Controls for the range and oven should be in front or beside, not in back where you would have to reach over a burner.
- If you have stairs in your home, make sure the area is well lit and that the stair surface is not slippery. Make sure there are banisters on both sides, and that there are vertical support beams to keep the banisters sturdy.
Keeping Your Home Safe While You Are Away
It is important to prepare your home and property for when you go on vacation. Follow these tips when getting ready to leave your home unattended:
- Ideally, a neighbor, friend or family member would be able to watch over your property while you are away. Try and identify such a person even before you plan a trip.
- Stop your mail from piling up. A stack of mail or newspapers sends burglars the message that no one has been home for a while. Find someone that will take in your mail, newspapers, etc. or contact USPS and your newspaper provider to hold your items until you return.
- Lock all your doors and windows. It seems obvious, but often people are burglarized while away because they left a window or door open that they thought was unreachable.
- DO NOT promote your vacation. Tweeting, updated your Facebook status, or using any other social media tools to announce your vacation plans also tells the world you are leaving your home unattended for an extended period of time.
- Put your lights on timers. Burglars look for homes that are dark, especially during later hours of the day. Investing in timers could help make sure your home isn’t targeted while you are away.