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Keyword: autumn

Beautiful autumn weather, open windows and burglaries

Fall temperatures are usually comfortable. Not too hot, not too cold. No air conditioning to keep us cool, no furnace running to keep us warm and low energy bills. Perfect!

Opening windows and doors is a nice way to let in some fresh air. However, it can be an open invitation to an opportunistic burglar.

Some newer storm windows have locks that allow you to raise them up about six inches, then lock. If you are thinking about buying new windows, ask the representative about that feature.

Many alarm systems offer video surveillance both inside and outside the home. As a consumer you have choices on the type of security you want and can afford. There are some that you may have seen on television that attaches a video camera to the doorbell. This is very popular, it is simple to install and comes with various applications.

If you can’t afford or are not ready for this type of security, here are some things you can do to make you and yours safer when home and away.

  • Landscaping can be a deterrent to burglars.
    •  Plant thorny bushes close to your windows. The bushes should be cut just below the window. This allows you to see out, while making it uncomfortable for criminals to climb in.
    • Keep bushes and trees around doorways cut low. This keeps would-be burglars in view when coming and going. It gives the criminal no place to hide.
  • Outside lighting is essential to crime prevention.
    • Install sensor lights around your home and property. This includes your outside buildings, such as sheds and garages. Some sensor lights come with sensor cameras, making your home even more secure.
    • Leave porch lights on overnight. Criminals steer clear of bright lights.
  • Buy timers for your indoor lights. This is a cheap and practical deterrent to burglars. Set each timer for a different time. When home, we turn on lights in different rooms and different times.
  • Lock your front door when you are in the back yard and the same applies when you are in the front yard. Lock both doors when you are in the house.
  • Lock your vehicles and never leave keys in the car. If a thief gets into your vehicle and finds the keys, it can lead to a burglary rather than a vehicle break-in.
  •  It is a good idea to bring in the garage opener, especially if the garage is attached to the house.

Get together with neighbors and establish a neighborhood watch. If everyone is looking out for each other, we can cut down on crime.

Autumn is perhaps the prettiest season here in the mid-Atlantic. The foliage screams yellow, red and orange as we drive through our neighborhoods and along the highways.

The leaves change color and, as they do, they also dry and fall. As the leaves fall, they coat the roads. Beautiful. Fall is also the time for rain and wind as the season progresses. Rain hitting the leaves can leave the roads slick as ice. Treacherous.

Here at the Baltimore County Police Department, we urge drivers to take extra precautions when driving this autumn. Drive along the streets wet with leaves as you would drive on ice or snow.

It doesn’t take much to slide when driving at a reasonable speed such as 25 mph or 30 mph.

A downpour can also create a flash flood if the leaves are left to gather along the gutters in the streets. Road crews try hard to keep the water flowing, but as good citizens, we should check the drainage system for leaves and other debris that accumulates in the runoff. Beware when driving during downpours. It is easy to be caught in what appears to be a small puddle. If the water stretches across the street, it is deeper than you may think. Find an alternate route. Turn around, don’t drown!

Enjoy this beautiful time of year and use caution when driving in wet weather.

Revised June 27, 2017