The “SEASON” is here for all of us that live in the greater Palm Springs Desert Communities. With additional tourists and traffic come distractions. IF we do not pay attention to our own safety no one else will. We are all responsible for our family’s security but we tend to put it on the back burner.
The increased “seasonal” population makes for increased criminal activity in the valley. Thus it is important that we all be proactive and do our due diligence in aiding in our own safety.
As an attorney I have written numerous articles for the CV Weekly on Scams/Theft and related topics. I am writing here to supplement those TIPS with the following suggestions for “all homeowners” to help prevent the bad guys from “shopping” in our home.
Think of what you would do to break into your own home if you were a thief. By doing so you will find weaknesses in your home security that you would normally not consider if you didn’t look for them.
· Always close and lock your windows even when you are home.
· Locking your exterior doors and setting your alarm should be common sense, even if you will only be away for a short time.
· Be sure your security alarm is working properly. If not, don’t wait to address that issue when it is too late.
· You should consider using dead bolt locks since spring latch locks can easily be bypassed.
· Leaving a key anywhere outside your home, even in a fake rock or under a mat, is not safe. It is the first place the crooks will look. Always make arrangements to leave an extra key with a relative, neighbor, friend, etc. You might lose your key while you are in town or are on vacation and need to be able to get into your own home yourself or have someone gain access for you.
· NEVER leave notes on your front door or anywhere outside your home for any service people or guests. That is a “welcome invitation” for the bad guys.
· Use a crow bar or rod and place it in any tracked door or window to see if you can gain access. You can often lift the sliding door by both ends and get it off the track to gain entrance.
· Your garage doors should always be kept closed unless you are in the garage. The security code from the factory-setting of all garage door openers should be changed.
· Never leave a recorded voice mail message that alerts the bad guys that no one is home. Consider saying that “you cannot come to the phone now and to leave a message”.
· If the bad guys think that someone is home they are less likely to try to break in. Thus consider making it sound like someone is in the house. Set your TV to a 24 hour news station like CNN or FOX. That will give the illusion that your home is occupied and the different TV scenes cast different lights in the home. You can also consider a timer that turns interior lights on and off … whether you are away for an hour or a month.
· Consider parking your car in your garage. However if that is not possible, always lock your vehicle and never leave a spare key in the vehicle.
· Never leave anything of value in your car when parked in public. Here in the desert that includes golf carts too.
· Remember to cancel your newspaper deliveries and ask the Post Office to hold your mail until the date you are to return. Nothing says “come in and help yourself to my property” like old piled up newspapers in the driveway!
· Alert your neighbors that you will be away and if you or they ever see anything suspicious call Riverside Sheriff immediately! If you ever witness a crime or feel threatened you should call 911 first and then call security if you live in a gated community.