There is a reason that there are city codes (with fines) that limit the time you can park on the street, unload your RV or boat in your driveway, leave a non-running car in your drive, leave your trash cans out, etc.
Tulsa City Codes are to preserve property values & to guard the health of residents & the safety of residential property.
A Homeowners Association (HOA) is formed to help keep residents safe by enforcing restrictions upon all lots. The HOA should have a committee that makes sure codes are followed. Every resident should receive a copy of the city residential codes and the phone number to report violations to help keep your area safe.
Make sure you aren’t in violation and end up with a fine. Check out violations to see the criminal penalty for failure to abate the problem
Crime tends to be lower in tight-knit communities because neighbors offer an extra set of eyes and are more likely to look out for each other.
Meet your neighbors. Your neighbors can be one of your best assets in home crime prevention. If you know your neighbors and are aware of your surroundings, you can more easily spot something that’s just not right, like a window that is broken or a suspicious car. If neighbors have a different work or school schedule from yours, they might be around during the day when you’re away and can alert you or call 911 regarding any suspicious activity they see. Working with neighbors to clean up the neighborhood can be an excellent chance to bond with your neighbors as you get to know them better.
Be attentive and observe your surroundings. Be alert to any suspicious persons, loitering, walking or vehicles driving through the area or any possible drug activities. (You may want to use that Smartphone if possible to discreetly take pictures of car tags or other concerns.)
Police tell us that they only have six policeman to work this area. You must look out for yourself and your family!
Don’t let things get out of control, by expecting someone else to keep your family safe! It is up to each of us, to take action immediately. Be PROactive, not REactive when we see something that violates any city code or our HOA covenant.
Hold every resident, whether owner or renter, accountable in order to stop crime before it starts by reporting problems! The smallest details can tip and even reverse the outcome. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
HOW MANY OF THE FOLLOWING ARE YOU ALREADY DOING TO HELP KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE?
___ Make a detailed inventory of all valuables. (Use your smartphone video, if you need to, but be careful to store the info in a safe place.) This will help police identify you as the owner should your property be stolen and later recovered.
___ Have your keys ready when you come home – go right in and lock the door behind you.
___ Intruders look for small signs that someone is away, such as flyers and ads piled up on a porch or driveway or stuck on the door.
- ___ If you don’t read the Union Boundary paper that is thrown in your yard, simply call 918 254-1515 to ask Sharon that they not throw it at your home anymore. They are very nice about it. You can always read it online
- ___ If a business leaves a flyer on your door, you should call and request that they no longer do so. (Even better, Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes sell a No Soliciting sign for your front door.)
___ Diligent about picking up trash that ends up on your street. Hypodermic needles are being found in several areas….yes, right on the streets! Leaving them there endangers our kids and pets.
___ Forming a neighborhood watch program, for your area, provides another opportunity to get to know your neighbors better.
___ Be attentive to new people walking or driving through the area. Take notice if someone is loitering
___ Graffiti Should Be Removed Immediately. Graffiti leads to the overall decline of a neighborhood and often often leads to violence and crime by giving the appearance of it being rundown. More, including how to report
An open exterior window is an invitation for burglars to easily enter your home.
Thieves know how to spot weak window locks that would be easily forced open. Make sure your window locks work well and update them, if needed.
- ___ Aftermarket window locks are available that let you open the window a few inches while still keeping it secure. If you like fresh air, shop for locks with a vent locking system.
- ___ Install keyed sash locks on your windows to make them more secure.
- ___ A window-break sensor alarm will go off if someone tries to open a window in your home. They are inexpensive and you can install them yourself (Lowe’s & Home Depot)
- ___ Also, you can get text or email notifications when a window in your home has been opened allowing you to respond by turning on the lights remotely or accessing a video feed of the location.
- ___ Burglars often break a small window in order to gain entry. Reinforce windows by installing safety glass or metal bars to make it impossible for intruders to squeeze through. There are plenty of decorative options for metal grilles that can make the adjustment both practical and aesthetically-pleasing.
- ___ Use curtains or blinds on garage windows so crooks can’t look in to see what valuables are there.
- Jalousie windows are almost impossible to secure without adding protective security grillwork. Police suggest this type of window should be replaced whenever possible.
An open exterior door or window (one that is not properly secured) is an open invitation for intruders to easily enter your home. In at least one – half of all residential burglaries, thieves entered through unlocked doors or windows.
NOTE: Remember, you really don’t know who is behind that Halloween mask when you throw open the door, so it isn’t worth it to take a chance.
- ___ NEVER open the door to uninvited or unwelcome visitors. (Put up a NO SOLICITING sign, so they do not ring the bell or leave flyers on your front door.)
- ___ ring.com Ring Video doorbell for your Smartphone lets you answer the door from anywhere with your smartphone. It connects to your Wi-Fi network and works with iOS and Android devices.
- ___ Keep all doors and windows shut/closed and securely locked and use your alarm system all the time, whether you’re home or not and even if it’s pouring rain. Burglars don’t take days off due to weather!
- ___ Never leave your home without locking the front door to secure your home, no matter how brief your trip next door, going to the store, or when doing yard work. Double-check all doors and windows before you leave, after entering, and before bedtime.
- ___ Install a good quality peephole to allow you to see who is outside before opening the door. (Some cheap ones are so bad that the visitor can tell when you look out!)
- ___ Horizontal sliding windows and patio glass doors have a latch to close them, but are often an easy point of entry for burglars. Prevent sliding patio doors from being forced open or from being lifted off the track secure with a door jamb, or use vertical bolts and a wooden dowel* in the track. Adjust track clearance so the doors can’t be removed from their frame. Intruders won’t be able to slide the window or door open even if they get past the lock. (*or an adjustable safety bar, a metal shower curtain rod or a piece of closet rod cut to fit in the interior floor track. To secure sliding glass doors install auxiliary locks. Remember that metal locks can become corroded from weather and wear.
- ___ Stained or decorative glass on and around exterior doors can have privacy film added to distort the view from the outside to reduce the chances of an unwanted visitor knowing what valuables are inside and if anyone is home.
- ___ Garage doors are a common point of entry. Yet, drive down almost any street and you will see a garage door that is open and the inner door is unlocked. Never leave your garage door open!
- ___ Keep fences, gates, and garage doors closed and locked. It’s worth investing in a quality padlock for each outside entrance.
The side door attached to the garage is often a route of entry. Flimsy doors with glass window in the top is one of the easiest to get into.
To help prevent criminals from easily kicking your doors open:
- ___ Your front door, like the side door on the garage, should be solid hardwood or steel or metal clad, not a lightweight hollow core door which is easy-to-breach.
- ___ Purchase a heavy-duty four-screw deadbolt strike plate (the piece of metal where the deadbolt latch goes into the door’s frame) at a hardware store.
- ___ Reinforce door frames with two and a half inch to three-inch wood screws to make sure the plate is strongly attached to the door frame. For around $100, you can get a doorway reinforcement kit such as the Door Devil, which fortifies your front door’s weak spots.
- ___ Door jammers – slide the soft rubber part under the door handle and move with your foot until secure. Some people use these when staying in hotel rooms.
Locks are the weakest point on a door. Don’t make it easy for a stranger to be able to walk into your home.
- ___ Make sure exterior doors have a grade 1 or grade 2 dead-bolt lock that penetrates the door frame, as well as a chain lock, for added safety and security. These can be purchased at a big-box home store. The strike plate—the stationary piece that the bolt enters—must be heavy duty, made of solid metal or brass, with six three-inch-long screws that penetrate the door jamb and the door frame. Check out this door lock buying guide and read about the $10 part that will make your door lock safer.
- When glass is present within 40” of the inside latch, install a double cylinder deadbolt lock. If small children or the elderly reside in the house, consider installing securit y film or decorative grillwork since double cylinder deadbolts can create a problem in case of fire
- ___ Change the locks when moving into a new place, even if the previous owner gave you all the keys. There’s no way to know for sure if there were ever other copies given to their friends or handymen who did work there who might still have a key to your house
- ___ A quality lockset adds beauty and value to your home while sending a strong message to would-be intruders.
- ___ Set up a security system for next to nothing
- ___ Turn your webcam into a surveillance cam – Kim Komando
- ___ Turn your webcam, smartphone or tablet into a spycam – Kim Komando
- ___ Security cameras allow homeowners to monitor activities outside of the home see who is approaching from the driveway without leaving the sofa.
- ___ ring.com lets you answer the door from anywhere with your smartphone. It connects to your Wi-Fi network and works with iOS and Android devices.
- ___ Installing fake security cameras used to scare off potential burglars, but today criminals have become more bold.
- ___ Turn your old phone into a security camera- Kim Komando
DECOY FOR THIEVES
___ Convicted burglars have confessed that they quickly grab the most valuable stuff they find and get out. They always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet. Instead of keeping your valuables in the usual hiding places, get creative. This online forum suggests leaving an old, worthless laptop by your front entrance so a burglar will spot it, grab it, and get out.
WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO BE GONE FOR A DAY OR MORE
- ___ Put a temporary stop on newspaper delivery or arrange for a trusted friend or neighbor to collect your mail, newspapers, and any delivered packages. Have someone check in on your home periodically to ensure no one has entered in your absence. They can help create a “lived-in” look, by using and setting out your trash ad recycle bins on trash day. However, remember trash cans left at the curb longer than trash day give the appearance that no one is home.
- ___ Pay someone to cut your grass and keep the yard tidy.
- ___ If you’re gone in the winter, ask your neighbor to create tire tracks in your driveway and leave footprints leading up to your front door to create the illusion that someone is home.
- ___ Don’t advertise your trip. Most people’s addresses are easy to find online, don’t tempt a potential burglar with the promise of an empty home. It’s pretty common for people to post all about their upcoming trip on social media, but avoid the urge. Don’t announce or post your vacation photos on Facebook and Instagram. Wait until after the vacation is over to post your photos. The more people who know your house will be empty, the more you open yourself up to the possibility of a break-in. Similarly, don’t leave a message on your landline answering machine that you’re out of town.
- ___ Leave some curtains and blinds open to give the illusion that someone is around. Thieves take note of a house that’s clearly been closed up.
- ___ Garage doors may seem impenetrable, but don’t depend on your automatic garage door for security. Disconnect the automatic opener and lock the garage door.
There are many gadgets available, to help give the appearance that “someone is home”:
- ___ Fake TV simulates the flickering lights of a television, and from outside, it appears that someone is watching TV.
- ___ Leave a radio on and turn down your doorbell. A battery-operated radio is a practical, cheap way to make it sound like someone is around. And since many burglars ring the doorbell or knock to see if anyone’s home turning down the sound of the doorbell combined with a loud radio will make thieves unsure if the house is empty or if the resident simply doesn’t hear the door.
- ___ Barking dog alarm
- ___ Hiding spots-are you providing a nice hiding spot for a potential burglar to hide, with shrubbery is too tall, bushy, or not well spaced.
- ___ Prune hedges and plants on your property and keep them trimmed. Walk outside, right now and look to see if they come up to your windows. (Also, make sure fences or trees don’t hide your doors and windows from view.)
- ___ Because burglars are looking for the easiest target, they don’t want to risk being mauled by a Doberman or Pit Bull. A simple WARNING sign even if you don’t have a dog, could provide some deterrence. Consider posting a few “beware of dog” signs in visible spots in your yard or on your fence at the front of the house or on a gate to the backyard and put a dog bowl by your side door.
- ___ A fence with sharp pointed tops can help keep unwanted visitors off your property.
- ___ Post security-company signs or window stickers near all entryways—whether you have a security system or not. Maybe you have signs/stickers on hand from a previous contract with a security firm, or maybe you can get some from a friend.
- ___ Trees around two-story homes should be pruned. A determined crook may scale a tree and break into an upstairs window if branches are long enough to give him access.
ACCESS an intruder may use that you may have never thought about:
- ___ Air conditioning units- Unsecured window air conditioners could provide an easy entry point for a crook. Use an air conditioner bracket, sliding window lock, or corner braces.
- ___ Doggie doors- Intruders coming into homes that way is on the rise. Do you really want that opening to be available to a crook?
- ___ The door attached to the garage is one of the easiest targets and a likely route of entry.
- ___ A ladder left outside makes it easier for a criminal to get into your home.
Thieves hate bright lights so light up the darkness outside of your house. Burglars often case an entire street or neighborhood preferring to target homes that are dark at night. Shine a light on a potential intruder before getting to your door or windows makes it almost impossible to sneak up on your home. A well-lit neighborhood will help deter a crook, or at the very least make it very difficult for him to slip away undetected A bright house welcomes friendly guests, while a dark house welcomes undesirable visitors.
Use a combination of motion sensor, photo – electric, low – voltage and decorative landscape lighting for maximum protection.
- ___ Install low-voltage outdoor lighting to your home’s exterior (entryways, ground level windows, garages and to the landscaping) to illuminate areas around your home.
- ___ Motion sensor lighting placed around each side of your home and near each point of entry which come on when someone walks up, will give the appearance that someone has spotted them and flipped on a light. Add extra lighting with motion detectors especially around dark corners of your home.
- ___ Replace burned-out lightbulbs and place inexpensive solar powered landscape lights around your home.
- ___ If you’re home, turn on your porch light at dusk or purchase one that comes on at dusk. Don’t wait until bedtime to turn it on. (Paying a tiny bit more per month in electricity to protect your family is a no-brainer!)
- ____ A dark street can lead to crime on that street which shows up on the crime reports, which can affect (lower) the property value of all the homes in the area. Crime can quickly spread to other areas of your neighborhood. Contact PSO immediately if it is dark in any area.
- ___ Talk to your neighborhood association about increased lighting on your street. HOA dues are to be used to help keep neighborhoods safe.
- ___ Large, reflective numbers on your house and mailbox makes it easier for police to identify your home in the event of an emergency. Burglars prefer dark houses difficult to identify by address as it can buy them crucial spare moments in the event they’re caught in the act.
LIGHTS WITH TIMERS
If you leave or get home after dark, create the illusion that you’re at home by using timers to turn lights on and off. You want to make it impossible for an intruder to observe your movements and know when your home is likely to be empty.
- ___Don’t come home to a dark house. Install a photo – sensitive lighting fixture at the front door and leave several lights on timers inside
- ___ Set your porch and other exterior lights, especially around entrances on a timer when you leave for work or appointments or go on vacation, set to light up every evening. Turn certain lights on and off remotely via your phone.
- ___ For the inside of your home, select a few rooms to put light timers near your windows—but close your curtains so intruders can’t see them. Light-timers are inexpensive and can be found almost everywhere. They should be used on a daily basis, not just when you’re away. Find the best bulbs for outdoor uses.
- ___ Set timers to turn on a TV, radio, and lights, to fool intruders into thinking your home is occupied.
IN THE YARD AND GARAGE
Break-ins can occur in even the safest neighborhoods. Eliminating temptation helps keep your home safe and secure.
- ___ Trash and recycle bins left out at the curb give the appearance of no one is home. ALWAYS move them from the curb, as soon as you can! Fines for leaving your trash and recycle bins out.
- ___ Thieves look for yards littered with toys as that signals to a that the house may be filled with equally interesting entertainment, like game consoles, tablets, or laptops.
- ___ A ladder or toolbox left out even briefly for an afternoon can give an opportunistic thief help in gaining access to your house. A burglar, perhaps posing as a handyman or contractor, could use a ladder left outside to gain access to a second-floor window or balcony.
- ___Keep cars in the garage, if at all possible. (Why use your garage as an expensive mini-storage for old junk while leaving an expensive vehicle in the driveway, just asking for it to be broken into or stolen. Secure your car by always locking the doors and rolling up windows. Never leave anything of value in it. Take cell phones, purses, GPS devices, and satellite radios inside. Never leave a spare key in the visor or anywhere else inside, even if the car is locked.
- ___Lock outdoor and recreational equipment, such as grills, lawn mowers and bikes in the garage or in a storage shed with a good lock.
- ___IF YOU WERE LOCKED OUT OF YOUR HOUSE, WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO GET IN? Everyone hides a house key so burglars know to look under mats, statues, planters, inside the mailbox or in the gravel beneath a fake rock. Maybe you leave a window at the back of the house unlocked. Remember – if you can get in – so can a burglarInstead of hiding a spare key outside, leave it with a trusted neighbor, in case of emergencies, and make sure they have a good contact number where you can be reached while you’re away. Return the favor for your neighbor can make the neighborhood safer.
- ___ Never leave car and house keys and remotes near the door or otherwise visible inside your house. Secure them inside a cabinet or a drawer to keep them hidden.
- ___ Don’t label your personal keys. If your keys are labeled and get lost or stolen you could be in big trouble, especially if your wallet with your ID and address are with them.
A HOME SAFE
Make it more difficult for the burglar to find your valuables if he does get inside your home. Find a safe hiding place for your valuables. Don’t leave them on the dresser or in a dresser drawer.
___ Secure valuables in a home safe or lockbox, an off-premises safe-deposit box, or stash jewelry and cash in unorthodox places. If the lockbox is small, many burglars will simply grab it and take it with them. Your safe bolted to the floor in a closet can help to keep a burglar from carrying it away. Give your pass code or combination only to a trusted loved one in case of emergency. Don’t leave it posted anywhere in your house easily accessible to an intruder.
___ Designate one closet as “safe” room and fit it with a solid core or metal door with hinges on the inside and a single cylinder deadbolt lock
Mailboxes hanging open make houses look vacant. Lori Fullbright on keeping your mail safe.
REMOVE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR FAMILY FROM THE INTERNET
Your family’s safety could at risk with Google Maps putting pictures of your home on the World Wide Web giving strangers a great deal of details of your home and private life !
Different ways a criminal could take advantage of information gleaned from pictures on Google Maps for nefarious ends:
- See the inside of your garage and its contents, if you have left the garage door open the day the Google car drives down your street.
- See what make, model, and color of vehicle you drive with a picture of your cars and the license plates numbers. Google claims it blurs out license plates and individuals before it posts pictures to street view, although that doesn’t always happen.
- Locate entrances to buildings
- Determine locations of your security cameras, gates, etc
- Find good hiding places such as in shrubs and other areas
- Find holes or weak spots in perimeter fences
- Locate utility boxes (power, water, gas, etc)
- See if locks, guards, dogs, etc, are normally present
- Measure distances between objects…to determine how quickly it would take to run or drive from one point to another.
YOUR VOTERS INFO Look for your name on Oklavoters.com (Where it shows ‘Search by Name’, choose the first letter of your last name.) Once you find your name, click on details and you will see even your birthdate.
SCRIPTURE TO GIVE PEACE
- Our battle is not against flesh and blood….For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (KJV) Ephesians 6-12.
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (ESV) Philippians 4:6-7
- For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
- ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; Luke 4:10
- For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20 NLT
- If my people will humble themselves. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Crimestoppers will pay a cash reward up to $1,500 for information which results in the arrest of fugitives and/or individuals responsible for committing felony crimes. Call 918-596-2677 or click the button in the link, after it opens. All tipsters remain anonymous.