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Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: weather

The next edition of On the Beat, the Baltimore County Police Department’s cable TV program, runs through July. This program covers the following segments.

  • Crime Prevention and safety during the warm weather months – Detective Robert Reason, of the Criminal Investigations Bureau, provides tips that should be used to prevent your family from becoming a victim of crime during the vacation and summer season.
  • Aviation Unit – Sergeant Brandon Branham and Tactical Flight Officer Christopher Roussey, of the Aviation Unit, give an aerial view of Baltimore County and explain the key role that this unit plays in fighting crime.

These segments are available online, if you would like to watch it on your own computer, on your own schedule.

On the Beat also airs every day on Cable Channel 25, only in Baltimore County. The times are:

Monday: 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 9 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Wednesday: 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Thursday: Noon, 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m., 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday: 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

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.

Towson neighborhoods are recovering this morning from yesterday's short-lived but severe thunderstorm that felled large tree branches, brought down power lines and left thousands without power.

The storm tore through Baltimore County around 5 p.m., following a National Weather Service severe thunderstorm warning, in effect until 5:30 p.m. The Towson area took the brunt of the storm; damage also was reported in Pikesville. Other areas of the county were impacted little, if at all.

The storm brought swirling winds and driving rains. In Towson, BCoFD crews responded to reports of fallen trees and branches that blocked roads, and several incidents involving trees that fell on houses.

The storm caused numerous power lines to fall across roadways. West Joppa Road remains closed this morning while BGE crews repair the lines. Motorists should avoid this area.

Some traffic lights in Towson remain out of service; motorists should use caution at these intersections.

At the height of the storm, 29,000 households were without power due to the weather. That number had dropped to about 4,000 this morning.

No injuries are reported.

Emergency Management officials said this storm illustrates how quickly summer thunderstorms can evolve into destructive events, and how difficult it is to predict exactly where such storms -- which can be isolated and small in scope -- will hit.

Residents should:

  • Be prepared at all times for power outages. Battery-powered flashlights and lanterns are a "must."
  • Maintain large trees, especially aging trees, to reduce the risk of fallen branches and uprooting.
  • Get indoors, if possible, when thunderstorms threatens and especially following a severe thunderstorm warning.
  • Motorists should never attempt to drive through standing water and, if possible, should pull over during violent storms such as yesterday's.
  • Avoid trees, water and landline phones to reduce the risk of electrocution and injury during a lightning strike.

Additional information about severe thunderstorms is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Revised June 27, 2017