Resource Center
Safety Tips
Protecting Your Home Against Entry

Locks and Keys

  • Change your locks (or re-key locks) when you move into a new home or lose your keys
  • Do not leave an "emergency" key under the door mat or in any other "hiding spot"
  • Never attach a name, address, or license tag to house keys or children's house keys
  • Keep car keys and house keys separate
  • Never leave your house keys with a parking lot attendant

Sliding Windows and Doors

  • Sliding windows and doors can be secured by using bracing devices (broom handle) or pan-head top screws if the sliders are on the inside
  • Check the local hardware store to explore the many security devices available

Doors

  • All exterior doors should be of solid core construction, including garage side doors (Hallow core or composition board doors can easily be broken or kicked in)
  • Door frames should be of solid construction and equipped with the proper strike plate
  • Removable hinges on doors should be on the inside to prevent removal by a burglar
  • If doors hinges are on the outside, make sure the hinge pins are non-removable

Deadbolt Locks

  • Deadbolt locks are available in double-key cylinder, inside thumb-operated models, or keyless deadbolt
  • Use the thumb-turn deadbolt only if windows do NOT exist in or near the door
  • Parents with small children might consider putting the deadbolt towards the top of the door to prevent a small child from opening the door to strangers

Alarm Systems

  • An alarm system can contribute to your home's security; however, do not depend only upon an alarm to protect you
  • Most residential alarms emit a loud noise, an effective deterrent to a burglar
  • There are many types of alarms available; Choose one to meet your needs from a reputable dealer
Home Landscaping
  • Keep doorways, windows, and porches clear of overgrown shrubs; Bushes give a burglar a place to hide and work
  • Prune large trees away from your house to keep burglars from climbing the lower limbs to the second story
  • A well-maintained yard is a very effective clue that someone is at home
  • Plan landscaping with both privacy and security in mind by planting thorny bushes and shrubs near windows and fences
  • Walkways and driveways should be easily seen
  • Be sure no landscaping offers concealment for intruders
  • Locked gates and well-maintained fences can make break-ins more difficult and help prevent the removal of large items
Exterior Lighting
  • Exterior lighting is extremely important in residential security
  • Light each exterior doorway from dusk to dawn so a burglar can't hide to break in
  • Yards and windows should also be lighted
  • Motion detectors work best as lights turn on when a change occurs in the environment
  • Motion detector lights can also be equipped with bell or other warning sounds
  • Check the sensors or motion detectors periodically to be sure of proper working order
Mobile Home Park Safety

The most important thing you can do to increase safety in your community is to get to know your neighbors. Neighbors can look out for one another by being each others eyes and ears. Getting to know the habits and routines of your neighbors will enable you to quickly recognize when something is unusual or peculiar and might possibly require action. Looking out for one another is not the same as being a "nosey neighbor." The purpose is to be alert and aware of the normal and usual routines and surroundings in your neighborhood so that prompt and appropriate action can be taken when necessary if something appears unusual or "out of place."

RULE #1 ~ Do not open your door to strangers. If a person coming to your door wants to sell you something or offer a service, STOP before you open the door and THINK. Do I really need anything right now that this person is selling or offering? If you have any doubts, refer to rule #1. It is not uncommon for scam artists to frequent mobile home parks in search of an easy prey. Be careful!

When out on a walk or outside your home doing gardening, pay attention to the cars that drive by. Take a look at the people in the passing vehicles. Most people who commit burglaries do not want to be recognized. If the car looks suspicious, call the police. Write down the license plate number, a description of the car, and how many people are in it. The manager of the park should maintain a record of resident vehicles and the spaces they are assigned to. It is a good idea to let your park manager know when you have visitors staying with you, providing vehicle descriptions of their cars, so the list can stay accurate and updated. This also applies to people walking through the park. Do not hesitate to call the police if someone looks suspicious. Again, it is helpful to get a description of the person, their race, clothing color, and direction of travel.

Get involved. The security of your neighborhood depends on your active participation!

Identify Theft

What is Identity Theft? PC 530.5: Unauthorized Use of Personal Identifying Information

Identity theft involves acquiring key pieces of someone's identifying information, such as name, address, date of birth, Social Security number and mother's maiden name, in order to impersonate them.

Protect Yourself
  • Promptly remove mail from your mailbox after delivery
  • Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection mailboxes or at your local post office. Do not leave in unsecured mail receptacles.
  • On vacation, have the post office hold your mail.
  • Never respond to phone calls or e-mails asking for your personal information such as your Social Security number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, credit card number, or bank PIN code, unless you initiated the phone call or contact. Protect this information and release it only when absolutely necessary.
  • Shred all papers that have your name or personal information on it. Shred pre-approved credit applications, credit card receipts, bills, and other financial information you don't want before discarding them in the trash or recycling bin.
  • Consider having your name removed from the marketing lists of the three credit reporting bureaus to limit the number of pre-approved offers of credit that you receive. (See Resources link for contact information)
  • Empty your wallet of extra credit cards and ID's and/or cancel the ones you do not use and maintain a list of the ones you do.
  • Order your credit report from one of the three credit bureaus at least once a year to check for fraudulent activity or other discrepancies.
  • Never leave receipts at bank machines, bank counters, trash receptacles, or unattended gasoline pumps.
  • Keep track of all your paperwork. When you no longer need it, destroy it.
  • Memorize your Social Security number and all of your passwords. Do not record them on any cards or on anything in your wallet or purse.
  • Sign all new credit cards upon receipt.
  • Save all credit card receipts and match them against your monthly bills.
  • Be conscious of normal routine financial statements. Contact the sender if they are not received in the mail.
  • Monitor your bank accounts regularly.
  • Notify your credit card companies and financial institutions in advance of any change of address or phone number.
  • Never put your credit card or any other financial account number on a postcard or on the outside of an envelope.
  • Use caution when disclosing checking account numbers, credit card numbers or other personal financial data at any website or online service location unless you receive a secure authentication key from your provider.
  • When you subscribe to an online service, you may be asked to give credit card information. When you enter any interactive service site, beware of con artists who may ask you to confirm your enrollment service by disclosing passwords or the credit card account number used to subscribe. DON'T GIVE THEM OUT!
  • Beware of mail or telephone solicitations disguised as promotions offering instant prizes or awards designed solely to obtain your personal information or credit card numbers.
  • Closely monitor expiration dates on your credit cards. Contact the credit card issuer if replacement cards are not received prior to the expiration dates.
  • If you applied for a new credit card and it hasn't arrived in a timely manner, call the bank or credit card company involved.
  • Report all lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
  • Never loan your credit cards to anyone else.
If You Are A Victim
  • Set up a folder to keep a detailed history of this crime.
  • Keep a log of all your contacts and make copies of all documents. Keep records of everything involved in your efforts to clear up the fraud.
  • Contact your police department.
  • Change the passwords to all of your accounts.
  • Contact all creditors, by phone and in writing, to inform them of the problem.
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov to report the problem. The FTC is the federal clearinghouse for complaints by victims of identity theft. The FTC helps victims by providing information to help resolve financial and other problems that could result from identity theft. Their hotline telephone number is:
    1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338).
  • Call each of the three credit bureaus' Fraud Units to report identity theft. Ask to have a "Fraud Alert/Victim Impact" statement placed in your credit file asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts. Request a copy of your credit report be sent to you.
  • If the Internet was involved with your identity theft, contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov to file a complaint.
  • If your Social Security number has been used fraudulently, contact the Social Security Administration's Fraud Hotline at: 1-800-269-0271.
  • Notify the United States Postal Inspector if your mail has been stolen or tampered with.

U.S. Postal Inspection Service - local post office (See phone listing under Federal Government) or contact them at: www.usps.gov/websites/depart/inspect

The chance that you or a member of your family will be the victim of a violent crime is low. Violent crimes are still rare and account for a small percent of recorded crimes. The best way to cut the risk of attack is by taking sensible precautions. By taking a few simple precautions, you can reduce the risk to yourself and also discourage those who commit crimes.
Be Prepared

Always be alert and aware of people around you . Show confidence and look people in the eye; most attackers do not want to be recognized.

Be aware of your surroundings, locations, and situations which would make you vulnerable to crime, such as alleys and dark parking lots.

Get a personal attack alarm. These products can be found on the Internet under personal attack alarms. Carry it in your hand so you can use it immediately to scare off an attacker. Make sure it is designed to continue to sound if it is dropped or falls to the ground.

Dialing 911 on your cell phone goes to the California Highway Patrol and then will be rerouted to the police or fire agency where the help is needed. This can take minutes to do, so try to dial direct. Have the police agencies phone numbers in the area you travel programmed in your cell phone. The La Verne Police Department emergency phone number is (909) 593-2531. The business phone number is (909) 596-1913.

Only carry what is needed when going on appointments or errands. If a purse is not needed, do not take one. Do not carry valuables or a lot of cash on you. Remember: Never leave a purse or other valuables in a car in plain view; it is best to put these items in the car trunk.

Street Precautions

Always be alert and aware of the people around you. Whenever possible during darkeness, travel with a friend.

Stay in well lighted areas as much as possible; remember most attackers do not want to be recognized.

Walk closer to the curb. Avoid walking next to bushes, alleys, or doorways were someone could grab you and pull you in quickly and out of sight.

Do not respond to any questions or someone trying to make conversation with you on the street. Continue walking to your destination at a steady pace. Sometimes being rude is a good thing.

If going to a house or business appointment, call when you are about to arrive to alert someone you are coming. If you feel the surroundings are unsafe, ask for someone to meet you outside. Trust your instincts, they are usually right .

When leaving the appointment, have your keys out and ready to go. Your keys can used as a weapon if attacked by having the biggest key on the key ring pointing straight out between your fingers.
Car Safety

Always be alert and aware of the people around you and your car. If a stranger is standing next to your car at the driver's door, do not try to get in your car without asking that person to move away from the door first.

Before entering the car, check the rear seat to be sure no one is hiding there.

Always lock your doors and leave them locked while driving. Do not drive with your windows down until you believe it is safe to do so.

If you think you are being followed, drive to a public place. Do not drive directly home. Police and fire departments are open twenty-four hours a day and are always a good place to go. If you know you are being followed, call the police and give them the information such as your vehicle description, the description of the vehicle that is following you, your location, and direction of travel.

If your car breaks down, try to pull into a public place or a well-lit area. Always have a tow service or an automobile club card available with a phone number on it so you are able to call for help from your car.

Office and Building Safety

Always be alert and aware of the people around you and your office. Get to know your neighbors; get to know their operation and what kind of business they run. Get to know what kind of clientele they have and what hours they keep. Tell your neighbors what kind of business you run and the hours you keep. The more your neighbors know about you and you know about them, the safer the work environment will be.

Discuss the parking situation with the other tenants that you share the parking lot with such as lighting, preferred parking for females or elderly people, and the condition of the parking lot such as bushes, entrances, and exits.

Always have a business phone available. When you call 911 from a land line, the address immediately shows up on the dispatcher's screen. If you are unable to talk, just set the phone down and help will be on its way.

Report all suspicious people and activities to the police department. Everyone should consider it his/her responsibility to report crimes. A person reporting a crime in progress or suspicious activities does not need to give their name to get a response from the La Verne Police Department. Many criminals target favorite areas and have predictable methods of operation. If you do not report crime, the criminal can continue to operate without interference.

Always be alert and aware of the people around you!