Sunday, December 23, 2012

Chatham: Alleged Rape of 15 Year Old

Last week I wrote a blog post on safety and hoped that we would have a safe holiday season in Chatham. Unfortunately, it was not to be. ABC 7 is reporting an alleged abduction and rape of a 15 year old near 83rd  King Drive as she was taking out the garbage,

Please practice safe travel procedures and avoid such practices as walking alone, walking through alleys, and walking with headphones. Also, here are a few other tips as well.
As we come closer to the actually holidays, the season has officially begun. While the season puts most of us in a good mood, it also makes some of us careless and brings out those who do not have good intentions.

Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the holiday season
  1. Use a Tracking Service for Expected Packages
The holiday season is the the busiest season for package delivery and its a pain when you miss your delivery and disheartening if someone steals your package from your property. Now that UPS has closed the Avalon Park station, you have to either go to the South Holland or Roosevelt Street station. You can avoid this frustration by signing up for  UPS My Choice.
 The service is FREE and alerts you by either phone,text or email when your package is close to delivery. You choose the method and when a package is enroute, you will get a delivery date and an expected delivery window. Won't be home? Have them reschedule the delivery or hold at the station. There are other options but they come at a cost. US Postal Service has a similar service and FEDEX is working on one. Have your shipper give you the tracking number and you can track them on your own.

  2.  Creating a Routine
 It’s long been known that burglars scoping out a neighborhood will look for victims who tend to not pay attention to things. In other words, they are looking for carelessness. Signs of a careless homeowner include an unkempt lawn, overgrown bushes and children’s toys scattered around the yard.When a burglar spots a house possibly inhabited by a careless homeowner he will watch that house to see what the typical daily behavior is. If he’s really good he may observe a homeowner rushing out the door without setting alarm system. In such a case that home is just as vulnerable as one with no security system installed.In most cases setting a routine is not good from a security standpoint. But in terms of remembering to set your alarm system before you leave your home, a routine is a good thing. Creating a routine you can follow every day will make it less likely you’ll forget to set your alarm.Consider gathering your things for work the last part of your morning routine. Hang a hook for your keys right next to your control center, forcing yourself to see it them as you head out the door. It acts as a constant reminder to arm your system on your way out.

3.     Don’t Advertise Holiday Plans Homeowners and businesses should never advertise holiday plans using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Today’s criminals are very media savvy and have taken to trolling such sites to find out when properties will be unoccupied. Keep your plans to yourself.
4.    Ask Someone to Watch Your HomeAsk someone to watch your home while you’re away. If you can find a friend or family member willing to actually occupy your house in your absence, that’s the best option. If not, at least find someone willing to get your mail and newspaper, open and close your draperies and take out your garbage. This makes it harder for burglars to decide whether or not you’re away.

5.   Carbon Monoxide is Something Not To Be Played WithCarbon monoxide is a naturally occurring gas that is both manufactured and utilized by the human body. For this reason, many people don’t understand how dangerous it can be in excessive amounts. Trust us when we say it can be deadly.As a tasteless and odorless gas, carbon monoxide could be present in your home without anyone knowing. It is also lighter than air so it tends to move to the lowest places of a home, including the ground floor or the basement. If carbon monoxide makes it to the upper floors it’s already at high enough levels to be fatal.When humans inhale carbon monoxide it binds with hemoglobin, thus interfering with how well the hemoglobin functions. One of the main tasks of hemoglobin is to carry oxygen cells to various parts of the body. When it’s bound with carbon monoxide it can no longer perform that function. In essence, excessive levels of carbon monoxide in the blood can literally suffocate a person from the inside out.Carbon monoxide is not something that should be taken lightly. If your home is equipped with a gas or oil furnace, a gas or oil-fired water heater, or gas appliances in the kitchen, the potential exists for carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s imperative you have your appliances carbon monoxide detector and heating/water systems checked on a regular basis to make sure they are function properly.These tips along with your normal safety regiment should ensure a safe and happy holiday season.

6. Don't Let Your Garbage Speak Christmas time is a time when many homes are purchasing high end electronics. Do not place the boxes out behind your garbage. The day after Christmas the scavengers and criminals will be trolling the alleys to see what they can find. Breakdown large boxes or cut them down in strips and if possible wait until recycle pickup day to place in alley.

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