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Palos Park Police Department's Home Safety Information

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Things a Burglar Won't Tell You

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste...and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it..
5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.
7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom - and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door - understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.
9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)
10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.
11. Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids'rooms.
12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.
13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system . If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at http://www.faketv.com/<http://www..faketv.com/>)
14. If you buy a new expensive TV, please put the empty box out by your trash in plain site, so I'll know you have something new and expensive for me to steal.

8 MORE THINGS A BURGLAR WON'T TELL YOU

1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.
3. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.
4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?
5. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.
6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.
7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.
8. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.


FEMA ENCOURAGES WINTER WEATHER PREPAREDNESS
With the winter season approaching, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reminds individuals to be prepared for winter storms and extreme cold.

While the danger of severe winter weather varies across the country, everyone can benefit by taking a few easy steps now to prepare for emergencies. A first step, regardless of where you live, is to visit the Ready.gov Web site to find preparedness ideas you can use all year long.

"Severe winter weather can strike at any time. Even areas that normally experience mild winters can be hit with a major snowstorm or extreme cold," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "I encourage everyone to get an emergency supply kit, develop and practice a family emergency plan and stay informed about emergencies that may affect your area. Families can log onto Ready.gov to learn more."

Severe winter weather can include snow or subfreezing temperatures, strong winds and ice or heavy rain storms. An emergency supply kit both at home and in the car will help prepare you and your family for winter power outages and icy or impassable roads.

Both kits should include a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. In addition, your home kit should include a three day supply of food and water. Thoroughly check and update your family's emergency supply kit and add the following supplies in preparation for winter weather:
  • Rock salt to melt ice on walkways
  • Sand to improve traction on driveways and sidewalks
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment
  • Adequate clothing and blankets to help keep you warm.

Ensure your family preparedness plan and contacts are up to date and exercise your plan. Learn about emergency plans established in your area by state and local officials and make sure your family plans and contacts are up to date.

Finally, make sure to familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify a winter storm hazard and discuss with your family what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Terms used to describe a winter storm hazard include the following:

  • Freezing Rain creates a coating of ice on roads and walkways.
  • Sleet is rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes roads to freeze and become slippery.
  • Winter Weather Advisory means cold, ice and snow are expected.
  • Winter Storm Watch means severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
  • Winter Storm Warning means severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.

For more information and winter preparedness tips, please visit: http://www.ready.gov/america/beinformed/winter.html

 

Palos Park Public Health and Safety Commissioner Dan Polk Reminds Everyone This Summer to Avoid Mosquito Bites!
The best way to prevent West Nile encephalitis and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and neighborhood and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Often, the number of mosquitoes in an area can be reduced by removing sources of standing water around residences. For example, hundreds of mosquitoes can come from water in a single discarded tire. Local agencies should inform the public how to prevent mosquito production around residences and how to prevent mosquito bites. Individuals can reduce their risk by taking these precautions:

  • Get rid of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles or any water-holding containers.
  • Fill in or drain low places (puddles, ruts, etc.) in the yard.
  • Keep drains, ditches and culverts free of weeds and trash so water will drain properly.
  • Keep roof gutters free of leaves and other debris.
  • Cover trash containers to keep out rainwater.
  • Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets.
  • Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use.
  • Unused swimming pools should be drained and kept dry during the mosquito season.
  • Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that hold water.
  • Change the water in birdbaths and plant pots or drip trays at least once each week.
  • Store boats covered or upside down, or remove rainwater weekly.
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house so adult mosquitoes will not hide there.
  • Make sure ornamental ponds have fish that eat mosquito larvae.
  • Repair window screens.
  • When outdoors in the evening or when mosquitoes are biting, use personal protection measures to prevent mosquito bites (proper use of insect repellent and appropriate clothing). See the Department’s Web site for specific personal protection recommendations.

Help stop the influx and spread of tree-killing pests such as the Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Long horned Beetle and Sirex Wood Wasp
Palos Park Commissioner of Public Health and Safety Dan Polk reminds everyone to join the effort to stop the influx and spread of tree-killing pests such as the Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Long horned Beetle and Sirex Wood Wasp by restricting the importation, transportation and sale of untreated firewood. Many exotic pests can be transported long distances unintentionally via human activity – especially the hauling of firewood.

“These invasive pests and diseases have a damaging effect, not only on the environment but also the economy,” Polk said. “One of the easiest and most common ways for these pests to spread is by the unintentional transportation of infested firewood.” Palos Park’s effort is to emphasize and educate, to raise awareness of the dangers of moving firewood.

Asian Long horned Beetles have a wide range of preferred host trees. Most studies show that they prefer maple trees of any species. Its other top choices include: birch, horse chestnut, poplar, willow, elm, ash, hackberry, sycamore, mountain ash, and London plane tree as well as many others.

If you suspect the Asian Long horned Beetle anywhere in Illinois please contact: The Illinois Department of Agriculture at 1-800-641-3934.

The emerald ash borer is a small, metallic-green beetle native to Asia. Its larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, causing the trees to starve and eventually die. While the beetle does not pose any direct risk to public health, it does threaten the tree population. It is widely believed to be artificially spread by moving infested firewood. A quarantine to prevent occurrences in Illinois has been established in the 21 northeastern-most counties of the state. Those counties include: the entire counties of Boone, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Livingston, McHenry, McLean, Putnam, Will, Winnebago, and Woodford.
The quarantine prohibits the removal of the following items from the regulated areas:

  • The emerald ash borer in any living stage of development.
  • Ash trees of any size.
  • Ash limbs and branches.
  • Any cut, non-coniferous firewood.
  • Bark from ash trees and wood chips larger than one inch from ash trees.
  • Ash logs and lumber with either the bark or the outer one-inch of sapwood, or both, attached.
  • Any item made from or containing the wood of the ash tree that is capable of spreading the emerald ash borer.
  • Any other article, product or means of conveyance determined by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to present a risk of spreading the beetle infestation.
 

HOW TO DEAL WITH SOLICITORS
Many people have difficulty dealing with door-to-door solicitors. The first thing to remember is that you are in control of the situation. At any time you can ask them to leave. Many people forget this important fact or find it difficult to find a friendly way to ask them to leave. This is an option in many situations; however, it is important to remember that legally, you have the right to ask them to leave at any time.

Suggestions:

  • Check through a peephole or window before opening your door to anyone.
  • Steel yourself to be firm, although it may feel impolite to say no.
  • Consider carefully before inviting solicitors into your home. It's much more difficult to rid yourself -of them once they are inside; it's also potentially dangerous.
  • Decide if you want to listen to their spiel. Realize once you listen, it's once again harder to say -no.
  • Have a standard speech to turn away fundraisers. For example, "I have my own charities that I -give to, thank you very much."
  • Prepare one for other situations. "I have my own spiritual beliefs," or "I don't sign petitions without consideration."
  • Thank them and say you must go. Then close the door.

Safety Tips:

  • Staying calm and polite always leaves you in charge.
  • Treat door-to-door solicitors as you would any stranger, with caution and polite impartiality.
  • If you have a chain lock, keep it fastened.
  • Don't bring your purse to the door. If you're giving, write your check or collect your cash in another room.
  • Never let the solicitor know you're alone, or give out any personal information.
  • A slight bit of wariness is safe and sane.
  • Do not give them any information pertaining to yourself or your neighbors.
  • If at any time you feel that you are in danger, please call 911. A police officer will be able to determine if the solicitor is who they say they are or not.

Animal Identification Chips
Palos Park Police Commissioner Dan Polk is proud to announce that the Palos Park Police Department will now have the capability to read Animal Identification Chips. The AID reader was donated to the police department by Avid Microchip Company which is one of the largest microchip suppliers in the country.  

“This will give us the opportunity to quickly restore lost pets to their owners during nights and weekends when veterinary offices are closed and unable to help us “, said Police Chief Joe Miller.  

The chip reader will also give the police department the opportunity to reunite a lost pet with its homeowner, instead of it being taken to the Animal Humane Society.  

The Palos Park Police Department would also like to remind pet owners to chip their pets, and to register the chip with their local veterinarian.

 

ALL NICOR GAS EMPLOYEES WEAR IDENTIFICATION

Ask To See It Before Allowing Anyone Into Your Home 

If you receive an unexpected visit from someone stating he/she is an employee or contractor working on behalf of Nicor Gas and wants to enter your home, please request to see their company-issued photo identification badge before allowing them into your home. 

The identification card features the employee’s photo, name and the Nicor Gas logo on the front side. The backside states the company’s address and toll-free customer care telephone number, 1 888 Nicor4u. 

Nicor Gas also wants to remind you that your Nicor Gas account and meter numbers are confidential.  Therefore, in the event Nicor Gas would need to contact you, our representatives will already have access to this information.  If you choose to enroll in an alternative supplier program, such as Customer Select, please be careful to only share this information with a supplier once you’ve decided to sign up with them.

 

A REMINDER TO HOME OWNERS
The police department is asking residents and home owners to beware of those offering to perform home repairs and improvements. This time of year always brings out the unscrupulous repair enterprises who will repair your winter damaged chimneys, broken gutters and down spouts, and even silicone seal your roof against leaks. Many businesses in our area are well known and are excellent craftsmen. However, there are those who pass themselves off as qualified repair people and are only after your hard earned dollars.

Other types of repair cons include:

  • Weather-stripping.... for those cold and drafty windows
  • Insulation, because your heating bills are so high
  • Driveway seal coating, to protect against cracking and deteriorating
  • Basement waterproofing, for controlling damp basements
  • And just about any other thing you can imagine.

Again, there are legitimate businesses and professionals who can correctly identify a maintenance or home repair concern. These are people, for example, who are listed in the YELLOW PAGES, or registered and licensed with the Village. As wise and business savvy as we perceive ourselves, con artists are expert at separating you from your money. Con artists spend a great deal of time preparing to penetrate a community. In other words, they do their homework. They will appeal to any weakness possible. The law enforcement community tracks these con artists as they move throughout the country. For example, recent tornadoes and severe weather in the southern regions of the U.S. has evidenced an increase in the activities of these types of con artists. 

These are unscrupulous people. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Protect yourself by confirming the legitimacy of the business, or by asking for references in the area. Again, be aware of the fact that the Village requires businesses to be licensed and insured. This requirement is a protection against unprincipled businesses who are out to con you. If you are in doubt as to the legitimacy of a business, call to confirm them as licensed with the Village.  

 

Palos Park Police Department Firearm’s Safety Program “Putting a Lock on Safety in your Home” 

Palos Park Police Commissioner John Mahoney has announced that the Palos Park Police Department will be participating in “Project Child Safe” a nationwide program to help ensure safe and responsible firearms ownership and storage, developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and supported by a U.S. Department of  Justice Grant. 

Palos Park residents are encouraged to stop by the Palos Park Police Department at 8999 W 123rd Street and pick up a free Cable-style Gun Lock.  The Palos Park Police Department can also make arrangements to drop off  a gun lock if someone is unable to come into the police center and pick up the gun lock.  Call Chief Joe Miller for further details at 708 671 3770.

 
 

 


8999 West 123rd Street
Palos Park, IL 60464
-Locaction-

NON-EMERGENCY POLICE RESPONSE (708) 448-2191
POLICE BUSINESS (708)448-0639 or (708)671-3770
9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Monday
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Tuesday-Friday

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