According to a recent survey, at the beginning of each New Year over 80% of Americans make resolutions in an effort to improve their lives. Most of those resolutions are in regards to relationships, health, and finances. Below are some resolutions to help you in those areas:
Get to Know Your Neighbors (Relationships)
This time of year we see a lot of visitors come to the valley. Unfortunately, that includes visiting criminals as well. You read that correctly, there are criminals who travel to locations where big events and large groups of tourists can be found. Not only are there people here for events; the population of our community increases a whopping 10%-15% this time of year when the winter residents return.
I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating, this time of year is the best time to reach out to your neighbors. Whether they are a snowbird or full-time resident, take a moment to wave and say hello to your neighbor. Getting to know those who live around you will make it easier to spot suspicious activity in your neighborhood.
Maintain Your Detectors (Health)
Three out of five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes without working smoke detectors. Smoke detector failures usually result from missing, disconnected or dead batteries. A monitored smoke detector is typically hardwired to the alarm box and has continuous power. Whether battery-operated or hardwired, smoke detectors don’t last forever. The devices themselves should be replaced every 10 years.
The same goes for Carbon Monoxide detectors. Carbon Monoxide is a byproduct of incomplete combustion. The gas can come from a stove, water heater, furnace, fireplace, etc. Because Carbon Monoxide is odorless and tasteless, it can poison you before you even know it’s there. A Carbon Monoxide detector can sound an audible alarm and send an alert to the monitoring station, possibly saving you or a loved one. If you have a fireplace or use natural gas in your home, having at least one Carbon Monoxide detector is a must
Tighten Online Security (Finances)
Even the cyber security industry’s top experts will tell you that if you are connected to the Internet it is virtually impossible to completely protect yourself from malicious activity. There are, however, a number of things you can do to reduce the likelihood of becoming one of the millions of victims this year.
It’s important to update computer and smart device applications. Each time that you receive an update notice from a software company or app provider, be sure to install the latest patches. These companies are working to not only fix bugs, but also to increase security.
It’s also imperative that you monitor your bank and charge card accounts. A lot of bogus charges hit during the holidays, so keep an eye on what is being charged and the amounts of each cashed check. Don’t just look for large charges either. Hackers often “ping” an account with tiny charges to check the viability of the account. So if you see purchases of 1 dollar or less, that could be a sign your information has been compromised.
Let’s all strive to make our lives and community safer in 2018.
IMPORTANT NUMBERS AND WHEN TO USE THEM:
911 – When there is a crime in progress or even when suspicious activity is going on. When you describe the situation to the operator, they will determine where (if anywhere else) the call needs to be routed.
CRIME STOP – Non-Emergency crime reporting or reporting after a crime has taken place. (602) 262-6151. You may also visit www.phoenix.gov and click on the “Report It” tab. The first selection should be ”Citizen’s Online Police Reporting System”. Click on the link and follow the instructions.
SILENT WITNESS – When you have information regarding a felony or serious crime. You may even earn a reward if the information leads to an arrest or indictment. (480) 948-6377.
GRAFFITI HOTLINE – If you have information on a possible graffiti suspect. (602) 262-7327.
To promote better awareness, we will continue to provide our residents with tips on how to better protect themselves, their homes, and their families through this publication, e-blasts, and on desertridgelifestyles.com.
If you are interested in starting a Neighborhood Block Watch, please contact the Desert Ridge Community Association office at 480-551-4553.