Safety Tips

Going to and from School Safely 

Millions of kids ride a bike, take the bus or walk to school every day.
Help get them to and from school more safely by following this checklist. 

Review the four rules of personal safety with your children. Remind them to: 

1. Check first with you or the adult in charge before going anywhere, helping anyone, accepting anything or getting into a car.

2. Take a friend when going places or playing outside.

3. Tell people “NO” if they try to touch you or hurt you. It’s OK for you to stand up for yourself.

4. Tell a trusted adult if anything makes you feel sad, scared or confused.

Walk the route to and from school with them pointing out landmarks and safe
places to go if they need help. Tell them not to take shortcuts and to stay in
well-lit areas.

If your younger children take the bus, wait with them or make sure they’re supervised by someone you trust at the bus stop.

Teach your children to recognize the tricks someone may use to abduct them such as asking for help or offering them a ride. Tell them to never approach a car without getting your permission first.

Encourage your children to kick, scream and make a scene if anyone tries to take them!

Instruct your children to get away as quickly as possible if someone is following them. If they are being followed by someone in a car, teach them to walk in the opposite direction from the one in which the car is driving.

Be sure your children’s school has up-to-date emergency contact information.
Learn about their pick-up procedures so only those you’ve authorized can pick up your children.

Make sure your children know how to contact you in case of an emergency.

You can download this checklist in English or Spanish!

Visit http://www.netsmartzkids.org/LearnWithClicky/WayToGo for a video and more information on how we can keep our kids safe.  

 

Home Safety

If you're locked out of your home, can you still get in? Through an unlocked window in the back, or using an extra key hidden under a flowerpot or up on a ledge?  If you can break in, so can a burglar! A small investment of time and money can make your home more secure and can reduce your chances of being a vic­tim of burglary, assault, or vandalism.  Get to know your neighbors. Watchful neighbors who look out for you, as well as themselves, are a front-line defense against crime. In almost half of all residential burglaries, thieves enter through an unlocked door or unlocked window.

Locks

  • Make sure every external door has a sturdy, well-installed deadbolt lock with a minimum of 1 1/2" bolt.
  • Secure sliding glass doors with commercially available locks or use a broom­stick or wooden dowel in the track to prevent the door from being pried open. Insert a pin in a hole drilled in the sliding door frame that goes through to the fixed frame to prevent anyone from lifting the door off its track.
  • Secure double-hung windows by using key locks or by sliding a bolt or nail through a hole drilled at a downward angle in top corners of the inside sash and partway through the outside sash. Secure basement windows too. The hole should be large enough that the nail or bolt slides in and out freely, in case you have to open the window fast in an emergency.
  • Don't hide keys in mailboxes, planters, or under doormats. Give an extra key to a neighbor you trust.
  • If you've just moved into a new house or apartment, have the locks changed.

    Doors

    Locks aren't effective if they're on flimsy doors.

  • Make sure all exterior doors are metal or solid, hardwood.
  • Doors should fit tightly in their frames, with hinge pins on the inside.
  • Install a peephole or wide-angle viewer in all entry doors, so you can see who is outside without opening the door. Door chains are not security devices-they break easily and won't keep out an intruder.

    Outside
  • Trim shrubbery that hides doors or windows. Cut tree limbs that could help a thief climb into windows.
  • Turn on outside lights after dark to illuminate porches, entrances and yards ­ front & back. Consider timers that turn on outside lights, or install motion detectors.
  • Keep your yard well maintained. Store ladders and tools inside your locked garage, basement, or storage shed when you're not using them.
  • Clearly display your house number so police and other emergency vehicles can find your home quickly.
  • Keep up the appearance of the neighborhood. Broken street lights, abandoned cars, vacant buildings, graffiti, litter and run-down areas attract crime. Work with the local government and your neighbors to organize community clean-up days.
  • If you are planning to go on vacation, put lights and a radio on timers to create the illusion that someone is home. Leave shades, blinds, and curtains in normal positions. Arrange for a neighbor to pick up and hold your mail and newspapers, and have them check daily to remove circulars from your doorway and yard.
  • If you are going to be away for an extended period, make arrangements to have your grass cut and watered, or your snow shoveled. Have a neighbor leave trash at your curb on garbage collection day and park a car in your driveway occasionally.

Alarms

If you have valuables in your home, or if you live in an isolated area or a neighbor­hood vulnerable to break-ins, consider an alarm system.

Before you invest in alarms.

  • Check with several companies and decide what level of security fits your needs. Sources of information include your Police department, the public library, and the Better Business Bureau.
  • Look for an established company and check its references before using them.
  • Learn how to use your system properly. If you continually set off false alarms, your neighbors will ignore the noise, and you could even be fined by local law enforcement agencies.

Burglars can take more than your property!

Burglars generally don't want to run into their victims. But if they're surprised by someone coming home, or if they pick an occupied home, someone may get hurt.

  • If you see a screen that has been cut, a broken window, or a door that's been left open, don't go in. Call the police from a neighbor's house or a public phone.
  • If you hear a noise that sounds like someone breaking in or moving around, quietly call the police and wait calmly until they arrive. If you can leave safely, do so. Otherwise, lock yourself in a room, or if the intruder enters the room you are in, pretend to be asleep.
  • Think carefully before buying a firearm for protection. Guns can be stolen and sold to anyone, or captured and used on you or the police. If you do own a gun, keep it locked up, with the ammunition secured separately, and learn how to use it safely.

Look beyond locks and alarms

  • Join or help start a Neighborhood Watch group. If one doesn't exist, ask your police department or sheriff's office to help you start one.
  • Look around for things that could con­tribute to crime-poor street lighting, abandoned cars, vacant lots, littered play­grounds with broken equipment, homes that elderly people have trouble maintaining. Help organize a neighborhood clean­up/fix-up day.
  • Keep written records of all furniture, jewelry and electronic products. If possible, keep these records in a safe deposit box, fireproof safe or other secure place. Take pictures or a video, and keep purchase information and serial numbers if available. These help law enforcement agencies track recovered items.
  • If your neighbors are ever victims, help them out. Offer sympathy and support; help with meals, repairs, or baby-sitting.

The San Angelo Police Department is committed to protecting its citizen's property while they are on vacation or out of town.  If you would like an officer to check your residence while you're away you can request a watch be placed on your home.  To place a watch on your home, simply fill out a brief form by clicking the link below.

 

House Watch Request

Online Safety

Protect Your Family's Privacy

Most households now run networks of devices linked to the Internet, including computers, laptops, gaming devices, TVs, tablets, and smartphones that access wireless networks. To protect your home network and your family, you need to have the right tools in place and confidence that family members can use the Internet safely and securely.

The first step is to Keep a Clean Machine and make sure all of your Internet-enabled devices have the latest operating system, web browsers and security software. This includes mobile devices that access your wireless network.

Protect Yourself with these STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Tips:

  • Keep a clean machine: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.

  • Automate software updates: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.

  • Protect all devices that connect to the Internet: Along with computers, smart phones, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.

  • Plug & scan: “USBs” and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.

  • Protect your $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the sites is security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://”, which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.

  • Back it up: Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.

See more at: http://www.staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/keep-a-clean-machine/securing-your-home-network#sthash.6rBdWODP.dpuf 

Pool Safety

San Angelo summers provide an excellent excuse for home owners to put in swimming pools which more and more are doing.  Although swimming pools provide an excellent means of recreation, there are some hazards owner should be aware of.

  • Never leave a child unattended in the water or pool area for any reason. Don't be distracted by doorbells, phone calls, chores or conversations. If you must leave the pool area, take the child with you, making sure the pool gate latches securely when it closes.
  • Access to the pool should be limited by locking doors and gates when ever the area cannot be supervised.  The gate should be self-shutting, self-latching and kept locked when the pool is not being used
  • Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
  • Keep toys, particularly tricycles or wheel toys, away from the pool.
  • Remove steps to above ground pools when not in use.
  • Have a telephone at poolside.  Avoid having to leave children unattended in or near the pool to answer a telephone elsewhere. Keep emergency numbers at the poolside telephone.
  • Do not permit playful screaming for help, these false alarms might mask a real emergency.
  • Never use a pool with its pool cover partially in place, since children may become entrapped under it. Remove the cover completely.
  • Always keep basic lifesaving equipment by the pool - and know how to use them. Pole, rope and personal flotation devices are recommended.
  • Your pool should be surrounded by a 6-foot-high fence, even if it is adjacent to the house. Without a fence on all sides, young children could enter the pool area through a door or an open window.
  • Store pool chemicals in a cool, safe, locked place. Never smoke near them or mix different chemicals.
  • Learn CPR and have babysitters, grandparents, and frequent users of the pool learn as well.
  • Set and enforce strict pool rules such as: no running, no diving, etc.

    In case of emergency:

    Dial 911
    Give your name, location, and telephone number you are calling from.
    Explain to the emergency operator what has happened.
    Don't hang up the phone.

Graffiti Abatement

There are four types of graffiti:

  • Tagging
  • Gang
  • Satanic/Hate
  • Generic (non-threatening messages like "Bobby loves Suzy" or "Class of 2000").

San Angelo mainly deals with gang and tagging graffiti. Tagging graffiti is more elaborate while gang graffiti uses symbols.

How Can We Prevent Graffiti?

  • Property owners can take several precautions in the effort to deter graffiti.
  • Report and remove graffiti within a 24 hour period of it appearing
  • Install outside motion lights around your property
  • Maintain a clean property
  • Landscaping options: shrubs, thorny plants and vines will effectively restrict vandal access to commit graffiti.

What Can You Do?

Graffiti attracts more graffiti! Graffiti has numerous negative consequences for a city. Graffiti in San Angelo can decrease property values, deter tourist, and discourage business development. Graffiti attracts crime and street delinquency to our City; slowly replacing the sense of ownership once common amongst residents with fear, anxiety, and frustration.

Take ownership in your neighborhood by following these steps:

  • Report the graffiti by calling (325)657-4315 or online
  • If making a report online take a photograph of the graffiti. Everyone's graffiti is different. Photographs of the graffiti could help identify suspects.
  • Remove the graffiti after an officer does a graffiti report or you file an online report.

You can help defeat the problem of graffiti by removing it from your property as soon as possible. If you need assistance in removing graffiti from your property, fill out the graffiti abatement and Indemnity agreement.

Mail to: 

San Angelo Municipal Court

110 S. Emerick St.

San Angelo, Texas 76903

Phone: (325)657-4367

 

Useful Links:

http://www.graffitihurts.org

http://www.kab.org/

http://www.nograffiti.com/

 

 

2 and 4 Wheel Drive Safety

FBI theft statistics prove that bicycle theft is on the rise. Most bicycles, motorcy­cles, and ATVs (all terrain vehicles) are stolen from the home (yard, porch, garage, dorm room, etc.) Many bicycles, motorcycles, and ATVs are stolen easily because they are not locked - purchase and use a lock!

 

The next most common targets are vehicles that are not locked with the right type of security protection - such as a lightweight cable or small dog collar type chain that can easily be pried open.

 

Ask your local bike shops about bicycle theft in your neighborhood. Seek advice about the best lock for your particular requirements and how to use it.

 

  • Buy a reliable U-lock and use it.  Although they are frequently used, the lightweight cable or chain no longer provides adequate security in most areas.
  • Combine a cable and a U-lock, or even two U-locks when securing your cycle.  The more time and trouble it takes a thief to attack your cycle the less likely it is that your cycle will become a statistic.
  • Don't lock your cycle to small trees, aluminum or wooden posts, or to chain link fences.  These can be easily broken or cut.
  • Do not buy a larger lock than you really need. Thieves will utilize the extra space between your lock and your cycle to their advantage!
  • Try not to let your lock rest against the ground where a thief can use a hammer or rock to smash the lock.
  • Always lock your cycle, especially at home.
  • Never leave a new cycle unlocked.  New cycles have the most value to thieves and they look for them.
  • Lock your cycle to a fixed, immovable object, like a parking meter, or a permanent bike rack that is cemented or anchored into the ground.
  • Always lock your cycle in visible, well-lighted areas.Select a location where there are other cycles.  The chances are better that there will be a cycle with a less secure lock - or even without a lock -and thieves will usually take the unlocked cycles first
  • Don't lock your cycle to itself.  A thief will just carry the whole cycle away!
  • Don't lock your cycle to anything posted as illegal.  Check with the San Angelo Police Department for local bicycle parking regulations.

Ride Safely

  • Use a helmet.
  • Learn, use and obey traffic safety signals.Ride with traffic, not against it.
  • If riding at night, use reflectors and lighting systems.
  • Give pedestrians the right of way
  • Ride defensively.  Watch for cars and car doors opening into your path.
  • Don't weave in and out of slow moving or stopped traffic.
  • Slow down and look out for oncoming and turning cars at all intersections
  • Keep your bike well maintained with regular check ups.
  • When you are not riding your bike, keep it locked properly-even at home.