The Public Safety Department is proud to offer Glencoe residents a variety of tips on what you can do to stay safe while enjoying life in our community. Learn about our community programs here.
Fire Prevention and Household Safety
Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly.
- Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- For best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms so when one sounds, they all sound.
An IONIZATION smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires and a PHOTOELECTRIC smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, both types of alarms or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms (also known as dual sensor alarms) are recommended.
- Smoke alarms should be INSTALLED away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from a cooking appliance.
- Change the batteries in your smoke alarm(s) as you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time. Change your clocks, change your batteries!
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It's the law! Carbon monoxide detectors must be installed within 15 feet of each room used for sleeping. Detectors should be listed by a testing agency such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL). For extra safety, choose a self-powered, extra sensitive unit that responds to lower levels of carbon monoxide and protects during a power outage.
What is carbon monoxide? Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless deadly gas. It is virtually unrecognizable; it can do its damage before you realize it’s there. Carbon monoxide can be present whenever fuel is burned. Common household appliances, such as gas or oil furnaces, clothes dryers, ranges, ovens, water heaters, uneven space heaters, fireplaces, charcoal grills and wood burning stoves can produce it. Even fumes from automobiles contain carbon monoxide, which can enter the home through walls or doorways if a car is left running in an attached garage. Furnace heat exchangers can crack; vents and chimneys can become blocked, disconnected or corroded; inadequate air supply for combustion appliances can cause build ups of carbon monoxide in the home. If a home is well ventilated and no air pressure fluctuations or venting or chimney blockages exist, carbon monoxide usually seeps safely outside.
The Knox Box is a high-security key box system, designed to give firefighters and emergency services immediate access to locked buildings, elevators and other secured areas.
The Knox Box is required where access to or within a structure or an area is restricted because of secured openings or where immediate access is necessary for life-saving or firefighting purposes. The code official is authorized to require a key box to be installed in an accessible location. Approved lock box containers shall be installed in the location that is designated by the Fire Department. The key box shall be of an approved type and shall contain keys to gain access as required by the code official.
Please visit www.knoxbox.com for ordering information.
Home and Vehicle Security
Please be sure to secure your home and prepare for emergencies - lock doors and windows, use interior and exterior lighting to illuminate your home and ensure your home address is visible from the street in the event of an emergency in your home. Surprisingly, while conducting house watches or responding to burglar alarms, Public Safety Officers often find that houses are left unsecured. In addition, emergency medical services can be expedited if the house number is visible from the street and if lights are illuminated during the overnight hours.
Unlocked vehicles and locked vehicles containing visible valuables make easy targets for criminals. Please store valuable items in hidden or locked compartments and ensure your vehicle is locked whenever it is left unattended.
These simple precautions will help ensure your safety as well as protect your property and should always be a priority. Public Safety Officers will make you aware if they discover any unsafe or unsecured conditions related to your property via a Service Observation Form.
Identity theft is a serious crime. If your identity is stolen and used by identity thieves, recovering your good name and good credit record could take years and result in significant financial loss. As with any crime, you cannot completely control whether you will become a victim, but you can minimize your risk by managing your personal information cautiously and with greater awareness of potentially risky situations.
Here are some simple precautions that can help protect you from identity thieves:
- Don't give your Social Security Number or credit card numbers out over the telephone or by e-mail unless you know the caller personally or are confident that the organization you are dealing with is legitimate. Identity thieves can be skilled liars and may pose as bank representatives, Internet service providers, even government agents, so be careful!
- Cancel unused credit cards.
- Limit the number of credit cards and forms of identification you carry.
- Place orders only with secure web sites. (Make sure the web address starts with "https" or look for a small icon that looks like a padlock in the corner of the page.)
- Be careful when you dispose of mail and trash. Destroy copies of credit card receipts, financial statements and anything that has identifying information on it, before discarding them. Use a shredder, available from office supply and other stores.
- Collect mail promptly. Place a hold on your mail when you are away from home for several days.
- Pay attention to your billing cycles. If bills or financial statements are late, contact the sender.
- Check statements from financial institutions - verify account information.
- Never give your Personal Identification Numbers (PIN numbers) to anyone.
- Report unexplained interruptions in mail service to your local post office.
- Order a copy of your credit report once a year from the three credit bureaus.
- If you use internet banking, make sure you are using the real web sites from your bank and credit card companies. Use only the links shown on your bills and statements, not ones provided on unsolicited e-mails.
- Check all purchases and debits made on your accounts and verify them against receipts.
Credit reports can be ordered from the following agencies:
Be alert to signs that someone may be fraudulently using your identity. Indications that this may be occurring include:
- Not receiving bills or other mail, which may be the result of an address change made by an identity thief;
- Receiving credit cards for which you did not apply;
- Denial of credit for no apparent reason; and
- Receiving calls from debt collectors or companies about merchandise or services that you didn't order.
If you are a victim of identity theft:
- File a police report as soon as possible and obtain the report number for future reference.
- Report the identity theft to the three credit bureaus listed above.
- Report fraudulent use of your Social Security Number by calling the Social Security Administration at (800) 269-0271.
- Contact your financial institutions. Consider obtaining new account numbers and PIN Numbers and having a code word placed on your accounts.
Identity theft is a crime that can take many forms and affect many areas of a victim's life. More information about identity theft can be obtained by contacting the Federal Trade Commission at (877) 438-4338.