Safety & Crime Prevention

 

From the Granite Community Council Chair:

I took a 3-day Crime Prevention class from the National Council on Crime Prevention, to help residents learn what they can do to prevent crimes. The following are the first two articles I’ve completed, on protecting against burglaries and on protecting yourself from scams and frauds.                                                                                               Mary Young

Crime Prevention: Protecting against home burglaries

Burglaries usually happen during the day when you’re at work. It’s easier for a burglar to fit in by arriving in a truck and looking like a contractor. The most common way to enter a home is through an open door or window (called unforced entry). More than 40% of break-ins happen without the use of force which means many of us are leaving houses without locking doors and windows. Open garage door theft is a big problem. In 20 seconds someone can steal a bike, car, or other gear from a garage. The most commonly stolen items are valuables that can be carried out and sold easily or melted. However, if thieves can take a truck into your garage, they can clean out your house. When you leave your home, don’t forget to lock the door leading from the garage to inside. Not only do we need to keep the garage doors closed, we also need to avoid leaving our car keys in the car! Leaving the garage door ajar is risky; if it has windows, someone can break in within 6 seconds.

Don’t store a ladder on the side or back of your house, allowing easy access into the bedrooms, where most of your valuables are stored. Tool sheds should also be locked. Suspects when running will often hide in a shed. Lock your side & back gates, especially when you go on vacation.

It’s commonly believed that if a determined burglar wants to get inside your house, he or she eventually will. But you can make it an uncomfortable and dangerous experience. Try thinking like a criminal: walk around your house, inside and out, and “case the joint.” Look for signs of weakness, where a burglar could easily gain entry. Entry doors leading to the outside should be solid core. Solid core doors are made of solid wood, laminated wood, particle board, steel, fiberglass or a combination of these. They are made for exterior use and are much harder to kick open. Hollow core doors are intended for interior use only; they are easy to force or kick open. Older houses often have them as exterior doors.

Keyed entry requires a key to lock or unlock from the exterior. A single cylinder dead bolt requires a key to be used from the outside and a thumb turn to be used from the inside to operate the bolt. If your window is close to the entry door, you may want to install a double cylinder dead bolt. Otherwise, a burglar can easily break the glass if it’s within 40 inches of the door knob and reach in to unlock the dead bolt if it has a turn knob rather than a keyhole. A double cylinder dead bolt requires a key from either the inside or outside to operate the bolt. With the double cylinder lock it’s important to remember safety before security. An idea is to keep the key somewhere close but not close enough to be reached if the window is broken. Another option is a ‘capture key’ which allows you to remove the thumb turn when you leave home. In some areas double cylinder dead bolts are a violation of the fire code, since they can trap a person inside his or her burning home. If double cylinders are unlawful in your town, solve the problem by replacing your glass-paned door with a solid one. Also, if your kids tend to lose house keys, consider getting a number code door lock.

Sliding glass doors are like a giant window. They usually have a latch and not a lock, and often are able to be lifted from the track and removed. A dowel or stick can be put in the track, but the door can still be lifted off the track. You can install screws in the track above the door to keep it from being lifted, or drill a hole through the door into the frame to install a pin.

Security window film can be applied to windows to prevent entry–even from a crowbar! This can also shield the sun. Applied to the inside of the window, a burglar can’t enter, but someone inside can get out in case of a fire. The cost runs about $10-12/sq ft. They have different thicknesses and ratings, depending on what your intended use is (e.g., living next to a fireworks factory).

Your landscaping can help or hinder a burglar: Landscaping sends a strong signal to criminals and visibility is the key. Trim trees and bushes so your house is clearly visible from neighbors and the street. Consider planting thorny plants (hostile vegetation) under windows and around fences, such as cactus, roses, bougainvillea, and pyracantha.

Security lighting: Pick exterior light fixtures that light up your walk, front door, etc. Porch and carport lights left on all day signal you are away. Use photo cells or dusk-to-dawn sensors. Motion-sensor lights are effective and should illuminate dark areas of your yard. New technology is getting more cost-effective. Interior lighting should make your house look like someone is home. Use timers or photo sensors. Use window covers so burglars don’t have an open view into your home.

House numbers need to be lit and highly visible, in a contrasting color, at least 4 inches tall, and in a location that’s easily seen.

Fuse boxes should be locked since alarms can be defeated by turning off power when you’re on vacation. If your security company doesn’t know when your power has been turned off, consider changing security companies.

You can mentally fake burglars out by putting a home security system sign in your yard. This won’t guarantee they won’t test out if it’s valid, but it could deter them. According to the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (see at http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/) , most residential thieves stay away from houses with such signs

Dogs as deterrents: Although dogs may not be as eager to protect our homes when we’re not in it as they will protect us, a dog is better than no dog!  Most criminals don’t want to deal with a dog at all, even a small one. Amy Bryant, Sandy City Police Department, advises that a dog is a deterrent because the bigger they are, the scarier they are, and the smaller they are, the more noise they tend to make. Any dog adds another layer of protection. Just as having an alarm system sign can help deter burglars, she advises people to have a Beware of Dog sign. Even if your dog is small or you don’t have one, the sign alone will still be a deterrent.

Operation identification is a burglary/theft prevention program that involves marking and/or engraving property with traceable ownership identification. See http://www.wvc-ut.gov/index.aspx?NID=1159. It has several purposes: numbering serves as a deterrent to thieves, and the property can be identified and recovered. If you do nothing else, inventory your property. Take videos/photos of your valuables, write down serial numbers, and do an annual update. Use a safety deposit box for the video of your valuables. You can also put an Operation Identification sign on your front window. Burglars will tend to avoid stealing items they can’t fence.

If you don’t have a safe in your home, be creative about where you put valuables and spread the valuables throughout your home. Put things in a coffee can above your refrigerator. Document where you put things (or you may never find them again). The freezer is a good place for things and burglars don’t usually check out your children’s bedrooms.

Some police departments also offer residents a Home Security Survey, in which they work with the residents to analyze the security problems in their homes. You can do it yourself, using the survey adapted from Manchester CT’s Police Department, available below. For Sandy residents, the Sandy Police Department offers a free Home Security Assessment to Sandy City Residents. Residents just need to contact Duff Astin at 801-568-7200.

Crime Prevention—Avoiding Scams & Frauds

During my recent training on crime prevention, we were provided with information about how to recognize and avoid scams and frauds. Various organizations’ websites were recommended, where I discovered additional information. I wish I’d had this training before I had my own very costly experience with attending a ‘free lunch’ investment seminar (what’s that about there being no free lunch?). Hopefully, some of the information below will be helpful to you.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) provides some great help on outsmarting investment fraud and can help with community training and provide free resources. From their website (www.finra.org): “FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation of the securities industry. FINRA is not part of the government. We’re an independent, not-for-profit organization authorized by Congress to protect America’s investors by making sure the securities industry operates fairly and honestly.”

Their website both educates and provides services, which include Become a Smarter Investor, Report a Problem With an Investment Professional, Read Investor Alerts  and allows you to check out a broker before you invest.

Scams are creative and consistently changing: scam artists will contact us to request donations or encourage investments for disaster relief, green energy, oil & gas, bird flu, terrorism, etc. New distribution channels are constantly being created, including seminars, email and Internet, direct mail, word of mouth, telephone, and text messages. After every international disaster, scam artists set up websites and make calls soliciting funds from people wanting to help. Recently there were several websites set up to ‘help’ victims of the typhoon in the Philippines. One way to distinguish scams from donation requests or investment opportunities is to consider the source: Never rely solely on information you receive in an unsolicited phone call, fax, email, text message or tweet—or in a blog post or online thread. Additional information on frauds and scams can be found at: http://www.finra.org/Investors/ProtectYourself/InvestorAlerts/FraudsAndScams/.

There have been many recent cases of very large scams involve millions and billions of dollars. Sometimes we victims jump to agree to an “opportunity” without doing the necessary homework. The scam artists often are extremely personable and get to know their victims well before they try to sell them on the scam.

See also www.SaveAndInvest.org/meters/risk to determine how high a risk candidate you are for investment fraud. This Risk Meter test takes only a few minutes. Other options on the website include Financial Tools: scam test (just 4 questions), funds analyzer, and others. You can get information on investment specialists and whether there are complaints against them (before you hand over your retirement funds!).

Another good source of information is from www.saveandinvest.org/tricksofthetrade. Trick$ of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud provides info about an hour-long documentary on preventing investment fraud, which was seen on public television stations nationwide. You can order a free DVD copy of the documentary by calling (866) 973-4672.

From this website: “Recent research has shattered the stereotype of investment fraud victims as isolated, frail and gullible. Do you know anyone who meets the following description?

• Self-reliant when it comes to making decisions

• Optimistic

• Above-average financial knowledge

• Above-average income

• College-educated

• Experienced a recent health or financial setback

• Open to listening to new ideas or sales pitches

If so, you know someone who fits the profile of an investment fraudster’s prime target.”

From FINRA’s Investor Alert page:  “Free Lunch” Investment Seminars—Avoiding the Heartburn of a Hard Sell

Investors (or potential investors) frequently get invited to free seminars that promise to educate them about investing strategies or managing money in retirement—often with an expensive meal provided at no cost. But just because someone buys you breakfast, lunch or dinner doesn’t mean you have to buy what they are saying—or selling.

FINRA is issuing this alert because, in many cases, free-meal investment seminars are not solely about education. Their ultimate goals are to recruit new clients and sell products—and while some pitches can be easy to swallow, the consequences can be hard to bear.

They’re Popular—Free investment seminars are widespread. According to a survey by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, four out of five investors age 60 and above (78%) got at least one invitation to a free investment seminar in the past three years—and three out of five (nearly 60%) got six or more. Not all of these invitations are being tossed out: nearly 25% of all those investors said that they went to at least one seminar in the three years. On the other hand, the good news is that relatively few older investors who do attend seminars actually buy anything—only about 9%. If you haven’t been invited to a free-meal investment seminar yet, you likely will be. And if you decide to go, you need to be prepared.

What’s Wrong with a Free Meal?  Potentially nothing. But problems can sometimes arise when the sponsor of the event or one of the lead speakers has something to sell, even though the invitation might state otherwise. Other times, problems can arise after the seminar—during follow-up contacts from the speaker or sponsor.

Securities regulators, including FINRA, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and state regulators, conducted more than 100 examinations involving free-meal seminars. In half the cases, the sales materials—including the invitations and advertisements for the events—contained claims that appeared to be exaggerated, misleading or otherwise unwarranted. And 12% of the seminars appeared to involve fraud, ranging from unfounded projections of returns to sales of fictitious products.

So, before you attend a free-meal investment seminar—whether for fun, good food, or to learn more—be aware that you may well be presented with a hard sell effort. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  • Seminars are designed to sell. Even when advertised as educational, many investment seminars are intended to sell something—financial products or the speaker’s books or services. Keep in mind that, at times, sales pitches might include confusing comparisons of dissimilar products or misleading information about the safety, performance and returns of the products touted.
  • Good shows aren’t always good deals. It’s human nature to be impressed with a well-dressed speaker in a high-end venue and to take their advice more seriously. That’s why it’s no mistake that many investment seminars are held in upscale restaurants or hotels and may offer even more than a free meal—such as door prizes, free books and vacation deals—to get you to attend and listen to the pitch. But you’ll want to take time to thoroughly assess whether the opportunity is right for you.

A FINRA Foundation survey found that investment fraud victims were three times more likely to have attended one of these seminars than non-victims.

Education Is a Great Idea—So Be Sure to Learn About Persuasion. Before you consider attending an investment seminar, take the time to learn about the persuasion tactics and influence techniques that sellers, both legitimate and not-so-legitimate, use. These include:

• The “Phantom Riches” Tactic–dangling the prospect of wealth, enticing you with something you want but can’t have. “These gas wells are guaranteed to produce $6,800 month in income.” (is salesperson dangling incredible returns or guarantees? 25 or 40% return?).

• The “Source Credibility” Tactic–trying to build credibility by claiming to be with a reputable firm, or to have a special credential or experience. “Believe me, as a senior vice president of XYZ Firm, I would never sell an investment that doesn’t produce.” Credibility can be faked.

• The “Social Consensus” Tactic–leading you to believe that other savvy investors have already invested. “This is how ___ got his start. I know it’s a lot of money, but I’m in—and so is my mom and half of her church—and it’s worth every dime.” If others want it, it must be good.

• The “Reciprocity” Tactic–offering to do a small favor for you in return for a big favor. “I’ll give you a break on my commission if you buy now—half off.” (another example is the free lunch makes you feel you owe them by investing your money).

• The “Scarcity” Tactic–creating a false sense of urgency by claiming limited supply. “There are only two units left, so I’d sign today if I were you.”  If something is scarce, it must be valuable. Once the timeline is put on things, we feel we need to make a quick decision. All of these should be red flags.

If these tactics look familiar, it’s because legitimate marketers use them, too. But one key difference is that real deals will still be there tomorrow. So always take the time to stop and think before making a decision. Here are three key strategies you can use to help counter these persuasion tactics and to distinguish potentially good investment offers from bad ones:

1.  Do your homework before the seminar—A legitimate securities salesperson must be properly licensed, and his or her firm must be registered with FINRA, the SEC, or a state securities regulator—depending on the type of business the firm conducts. And an insurance agent must be licensed by the state insurance commissioner where he or she does business. Here’s how to check out seminar speakers and sponsors:

  • For a broker or investment adviser, use FINRA BrokerCheck or call toll-free (800) 289-9999.
  • For an insurance agent, check with your state insurance department. You’ll find contact information through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
  • For all sellers, be sure to call your state securities regulator. You can find that number in the government section of your local phone book or by contacting the North American Securities Administrators Association or (202) 737-0900.

2. Ask questions while you’re there—Turn the tables on the speaker, and ask questions. Ask as many as you want until you are satisfied you know what you are buying and understand the risks and costs. Before you give out information about yourself, ask:

  • Are you and your firm registered with FINRA?
  • Are you registered with the SEC?
  • Are you registered with a state securities regulator? Which one(s)?
  • What are the risks of this investment?
  • How much does it cost initially to purchase the investment?
  • What, if any, additional or ongoing costs will I have to pay?
  • How liquid is this investment? If I need to sell or cash in the investment, how readily can I do so?
  • Will my investment be tied up for a period of time? If so, for how long?
  • What happens if I decide to sell or cash in my investment? Are there surrender charges? Other fees?
  • For what type of investor is this investment a good idea? For what type of investor is this investment a bad idea?
  • Is the investment registered? If so, with which regulator? (See below for tips on how to confirm what the speaker says.)

If the speaker can’t or won’t answer your questions to your satisfaction, then the investment is not right for you.

3.   Decide now to decide later, and do more homework after the event—Commit to yourself before the seminar that you won’t purchase anything or open an account on the spot. Bear in mind that the seminar might actually be an initial “soft sell”—a lure to introduce you to the product. The hard sell might come later during subsequent contacts from the person or firm selling the product. That’s why it’s important to take time after the event to do some research on your own. Be sure to consider all the pros and cons, especially the following:

  • Is the investment registered? Most investors will want to buy securities products that are registered with the SEC or with state regulators. With very few exceptions, companies must register their securities before they can sell shares to the public. You can find out whether a product is registered with the SEC by using the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) Database (www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml/). Also call your state securities regulator to find out what they know about the company that issues the investment.
  • What are the risks? While the prospect of high rates of return might sound tempting, remember that there may be additional risks—or costs—associated with the product.

An additional strategy that can be helpful is to learn to end the conversation. Practice saying “No.” Simply tell the person, “I am sorry, I am not interested. Thank you.”  Or tell anyone who pressures you, “I never make investing decisions without first consulting my ____. I will contact you if I am still interested.” Fill in the blank with whomever you choose—your spouse, child, investment professional, attorney or accountant. Knowing your exit strategy in advance makes it easier to leave the conversation, even if the pressure starts rising.

Then check: Verify the answers by checking the seller’s background. Visit www.saveandinvest.org or call (888) 295-7422.

The bottom line is that savvy investors refuse to be rushed. Rarely—if ever—do you have to invest your money on the spot. A good investment will be available tomorrow or next week or next month, when you are ready and understand where your money is going. While a free meal or prize might be enticing, remember that there are unbiased, noncommercial places to go for information about investing, including regulators such as the SEC, FINRA and state securities regulators.

If a Problem Occurs—If you believe you have been defrauded or treated unfairly by a securities professional or firm, you may want to send FINRA a written complaint. If you suspect that someone you know has been taken in by a scam, be sure to give them that tip. Here’s how:

Online: File a Complaint or Send a Tip

Mail or Fax:
FINRA Complaints and Tips
9509 Key West Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
Fax: (866) 397-3290

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SECURITY WARNINGS

From: Brooks Green <BGreen@updsl.org>   9-29-13

My thought about crimes of opportunity, i.e., leaving the side door of your garage
unlocked with your purse in your unlocked car, leaving the garage open, leaving valuables
in your car or in view. A simple thought is:  if there is nothing available for people to
steal, nothing will get stolen .

Please spread the word as information always helps remind folks.

Thanks!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Be Alert:  mailbox thefts! Boxes have been pried open and all the mail stolen (even from locking mailbox, no less).  This has happened in nearly every part of the Community. Collect your mail as soon as possible after it has been delivered. *******************************************************************************1. KEEP YOUR GARAGE DOORS CLOSED!!!!!!!

 and your keys, purse/wallet with you – not in your vehicle!

When you park your vehicles in the area, be sure that valuables are not in sight and the car is locked (4 vehicle burglaries occurred in August, 2012)

UPD Detective Brooks Green advises all of us to lock the back doors to our residences.  Often burglars get into our houses and cars, not through forced entry, but through our unlocked doors!  Don’t let it happen to you.

***************************************************

 HOME SECURITY SURVEY[1]

 The following categories are guidelines to use to ensure a safe home environment.

Name:                                                                                       Phone:                                 

Address:                                                                                  

                                                                                               

EXTERIOR

YES  NO

____ ____ Are street numbers visible from the road? [not just on the curb, which is invisible when it snows]

____ ____ Bushes, trees, & shrubs trimmed away from windows & doors?

____ ____ Is there sufficient lighting around entire home?

____ ____ Can bulbs be freely removed by reaching up and twisting them out?

____ ____ Are there outbuildings/shed?  Are they locked?

____ ____ Is garage door locked and hinges secure?

____ ____ Are all doors and windows locked when no one is home, even if only for a few minutes?

____ ____ Are all doors and windows locked at night while sleeping?

____ ____ Are all spare keys left with a trusted family member or neighbor, NOT under doormat, planter, ledge, or in mailbox?

INTERIOR

YES  NO

____ ____ Are exterior doors solid?

____ ____ Are locks single cylinder or double cylinder?

____ ____  If double, do all home occupants know where the key is in case of an emergency?

____ ____ Do the dead bolts have a 1” throw with 3” screws securing the latch plate?

____ ____ Do doors have proper hinges with pins on the inside?

____ ____ Are there peepholes present? Do they provide at least a 180° view?

____ ____ Is there a sliding glass door with additional security lock in place?

____ ____ Do windows lock and are there additional security locks for them?

____ ____ Is there a security system currently in place? Audible or silent?

____ ____ Are there stickers present for security system?

____ ____ Are curtains/blinds partially open?

____ ____ Are lights/electronics on automatic timers and staggered when home is vacant for extended periods?

____ ____ Are all keys accounted for?

____ ____ Do you change locks after contractors have been at your home?

____ ____ Are valuables kept away from windows?   Consider using Operation Identification.

____ ____ Do you have an inventory of all valuables, with serial numbers, kept somewhere besides your house?

____ ____ Do you have at least one smoke alarm for each bedroom, living room and back room on EVERY floor?

____ ____ Are batteries replaced for smoke alarm twice a year?

____ ____ Does everyone in the home know where the fire extinguishers are and how to operate them?

____ ____ Are the fire extinguishers expired?

____ ____ Does everyone in the home know where the first aid kit is?

____ ____ Is there at least one telephone in each room of the home in case of an emergency?

 ____ ____ Are emergency numbers (9-1-1, routine line, gas company, electric company) posted near every phone?

____ ____ Do you have Caller ID in case of harassing phone calls?

____ ____ Is there an established evacuation plan in case of fire or other emergency?

____ ____ Do you have a sufficient number of flashlights and batteries in case of a power outage?

____ ____ Are firearms present in the home and are they locked and secured?

*When securing doors & windows, be sure to allow for fire escape routes & be sure all family members know how to unlock and operate doors & windows.


[1] Adapted from the Manchester CT Police Department Home Security Survey

Neighborhood Watch

Doing Your Part

Report these incidents to the Police Department at (801) 743-7000 and talk about the problem with your neighbors.

  • Screaming or shouts for help.
  • Someone looking into windows and parked cars.
  • Unusual noises.
  • Property being taken out of closed businesses or houses where no one is at home.
  • Cars, vans, or trucks moving slowly with no apparent destination, or without lights.
  • Anyone being forced into a vehicle.
  • A stranger sitting in a car or stopping to talk to a child.
  • Abandoned cars.

 Reporting Crime

  • Call the appropriate  number, either 9-1-1  for emergencies or (801) 743-7000 for non-emergencies. Give your name and the address of the problem.
  •  Briefly describe the event – what happened, when, where and who was involved.
  •  Describe the suspect’s gender, race, age, height, weight, hair color, clothing, and distinctive characteristics such as a beard, mustache, scars or accent.
  • Describe the vehicle if one was involved; color, make, model, year, license plate, and special features such as stickers, dents or decals.

Neighborhood Watch website: http://NWandCERT.yolasite.com

 Participant’s Guidelines

1. Learn your neighbor’s names, including all occupants of their residences. Be able to recognize them and their vehicles without any hesitation.

2. Attend all Neighborhood Watch meetings.

3. Properly identify all personal property using the included personal property record or a computer inventory program, engraving a number identifiable to you onto your property (e.g., backwards phone no.), and/or by creating a videotape record of your valuables. (Amy advises that property is harder to fence when it has an id # etched onto it.)

4. Keep doors and windows locked as well as garage doors down at all times, even when you are home (or, especially, when working in your back yard).

5. Become a good witness by getting an accurate description of a suspect or a vehicle. Practice writing down descriptions from memory so when the time comes to actually report an incident, you will be prepared. (Make a habit of carrying your cell phone, notepad and pen with you when you walk or jog. Note details in your neighbor’s yards, so you know when something is out of place. Also, practice memorizing license plates using the phonetic alphabet.)

6. Keep an eye on your neighbor’s homes and report any suspicious activities to the police. Write down your description so that nothing is forgotten. Do not delay your reporting or think that someone else will. A few minutes delay may reduce the chance that the criminal will ever be caught.

7. Teach children respect for the law. Involve them in crime prevention activities and make them feel a part of your Neighborhood Watch group. Teach them to be safe at home and away.

8. Remember that it is your responsibility to report crime and to be a good witness. Never take the law into your own hands or risk injury to yourself or others by trying to stop a crime in progress by yourself (Det. Green’s advice: “Property is never worth more than life.”)

9. When you plan to leave for any length of time, arrange to have your mail and newspapers picked up or put on temporary hold. Leave timers on your lights and TV or radio. Make your home appear lived in whenever you are away. Call dispatch (840-4000 for Sandy, 743-7000 for UPD) or go to the police website (www.sandy.utah.gov) and request extra police patrols by your house while you are away.

10. Get involved! Look out for each other. Neighborhood Watch is your program and will only be as good as you and your neighbors make it. By being a good witness and an active participant in Neighborhood Watch, you will truly make a difference in your community.

* * * * * * * * *

 Protect your Family & Home with Visible House Numbers

Tod and Mary Young had a meeting in 2012 with Sandy City Fire Chief Don Rosenkrantz [now retired] and Dep. Chief Bruce Cline [now Chief!].  They discussed an incident that occurred in Granite, where an emergency vehicle had a delay in getting to a home with an emergency. That discussion segued into what we can do as residents to help improve emergency vehicle responses to our homes and one of the ideas offered was to consider having more visible house numbers (or even house numbers at all, for some people).

Chief Cline just sent an update on this issue, as a reminder to residents:

“Time is of the essence when responding to an emergency. Incorrect or missing address numbers on your home or business could possibly prevent police, fire and medical crews from responding quickly.

This is a friendly reminder to check the address on your home and business and ensure that they are clearly marked. According to International Fire Code, addresses on your home or business should be at least four inches high and be placed above the garage or next to the main door. The code also states that addresses on mailboxes and painted on curbs are helpful, but can be covered with vehicles that are parked.”

The Granite Community Council discussed the need for visible house numbers at its June 2014 meeting and again on July 2, with Bill Clayton leading a discussion about purchasing house number signs from the County (for $10). If you didn’t get them and want them, contact Mary.

Tod and Mary like their recycled wine bottle house numbers with large reflective bright white numbers.  But some of you may want to look at just getting bigger and more visible numbers. Below are some websites that sell good numbers/signs and several websites with articles by cities across the country and fire departments that encourage (or even enforce!) visible house numbers in their community (this might be a good scout activity, to get the word out to residents about this).

The websites are: http://www.justaddressplaques.com/?gclid=CMyapN_M2q4CFUcGRQod2FCEew
http://www.accurateimageinc.com/?gclid=CMK5joTN2q4CFeYERQod10DNfA

Websites about cities and fire departments encouraging or enforcing residents to have
visible house numbers:
http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/01/brighton_stepping_up_enforceme.html
http://www.skaneatelesjournal.com/news/visible-house-numbers-vital/article_ceaac53c-5ce5-11e1-84de-0019bb2963f4.html
http://blog.syracuse.com/voices/2010/11/kirkville_fire_department_want.html
http://www.homealarmmonitoring.org/year/10-reasons-your-house-number-should-be-visible-from-the-street/

If you’d like large, visible, and distinctive house numbers like the Youngs’, contact local
recycled glass artist Jodi McRaney-Rusho at jodi@GlassWithAPast.com or see
her website at www.McRushoGlass.com. At Jenifer Johnson’s suggestion, Jodi has indicated a willingness to make recycled glass bottle house numbers that are also flower vases. How cool is that? This also keeps some bottles out of the landfill.

At the April 2012 Community Council meeting, Chief Rosenkrantz presented a list of things that residents can do to help emergency responders arrive promptly at their residences. (see the full minutes for other issues associated with emergency response times).

  • Ensure the home has visible house numbers/mailbox–reflective if possible, not just on the curb because of the following: snow, garbage cans, parked vehicles, other obstructions.
  • Turn on porch light at night; give any information to dispatch to help find you, such as gate codes, dead end lanes, living in basement or apartment out back.
  • Meet them on the curb if safe to do so and weather permits.
  • Lock up your pets, including dogs, cats and exotic birds.
  • If you live in a wild land interface area, clear the trees and brush from around your house to give firefighters a defensible space in which to try to stop the fire; 30? is a good starting point but some other factors may need to be looked at such as the height of vegetation and the slope up or down from a structure.
  • Always have working smoke and CO detectors.
  • Always call 911 in an emergency (not what you think is the closest station). Dispatch knows when their units are out on calls and will ensure they get the closest available unit to help you.