Neighborhood Watch

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Please note any suspicious activities around the neighborhood. Report any unusual events to your filing captain or CHHO officer. Take down license plate numbers, make and color of vehicles, and time of events.

At a recent CHHO meeting regarding security in our neighborhood, many agreed that the more security measures each homeowner utilizes, the more we all benefit when intruders invade our subdivision. The last invasion bore this out, with law enforcement able to get valuable info based on neighbors cameras and sensors.

Should you suspect an intruder outside of your home, all effort should be made to contact law enforcement, and avoid any confrontation. Otherwise, the outcome may result in injury or death of victim(s). The last few invasions had multiple accomplices, and you may not be aware of where they are hiding or staging.

There are no bullet proof security methods, but when many neighbors utilize a variety of security devices, the safety of our community, by preventing and catching intruders, improve significantly.

Below is a list of items that can be employed by most homeowners with various levels of skill and to fit any budget in no particular order.

1) Observant neighbors. Get to know your neighbors and let them know when you are away so they can be watchful of unusual activities.

2) Good watch dogs. (avoid biscuit eaters).

3) Lock your vehicles, storage sheds, and especially your home.

4) Call the sheriff's office for anything that looks suspicious.

5) Use lights to signal to intruders that you are aware of their presence. If your outside lights are on, flip them off and on a couple of times. If they're off, turn them on. Get additional remote controlled outside lights.

6) If you suspect intruders around your car, press your key fob to lock your car. You may even activate the panic button on your key fob (if your car is under a carport, that will surely get their ears ringing.)

7) Add outdoor sensors around your house to warn of intruders. Some are fairly inexpensive and have been used successfully in the neighborhood.

The following links provide more information:

Driveway alert

Driveway alert

These can be purchased locally, used as is, or for the more ambitious tinkerer, can be attached to an inexpensive arduino board and programmed to send a text to any phone when the alarm is triggered.

Driveway Alarm

8) Cameras are becoming the item of choice because of their flexibility, low cost, and effectiveness. Two setups are common:

DVR Cameras
Network Cameras

The easiest is the constant recording to a dedicated DVR. This system can be purchased online or even at Sam's.
Easier to setup
Doesn't need a computer or Internet connection
No images are missed due to constant recording.

Some systems are more difficult to setup for remote viewing over the internet or warning.
Some older systems may not support motion only detection, in which case, you would have to view entire days worth of video to see if anything is picked up.

Network cameras are another popular alternative.
Pros -
Cheaper to get started with if you already have a computer and router setup.
Cameras have built in computer/web server, so can be accessed independent of computer.
Can be accessed remotely if you have an internet connection.
Can be set to record continuous or motion only.
Provides alerts and texts when motion is detected.
Have a lot of flexibility

Cons -
They require more tech savvy, and some are tricky to get operating with certain networking gear.
Software generally requires your computer to be on continuously to provide additional flexibility.
Requires storage on computers hard drive.

9) Fish strings with tin cans strategically placed throughout yard. Be careful of liability concerns though.

10) Professional security companies have turnkey setups which relieves the homeowner of all the fuss of setting up and maintaining a camera/sensor security system. Though some can be fairly expensive and most require a monthly monitoring subscription.

11) Firearms. If you have firearms, make sure you can and are willing to shoot an intruder. If you have children or grand children then this can be a dangerous option. Take proper precautions. 20 gauge self defense shotguns are popular, due to their stopping power and ability to more easily hit the intended target under duress. However, many handguns are very effective if you are a capable shooter. Many internet sites provide much discussion on popular choices for home defense.

ALL choices have their shortcomings. When it comes to tech oriented items, successes are hit and miss with some to plenty of experimenting to learn the nuances of your system. Generally, the more expensive cameras yield better quality pictures/video. All require good lighting for night viewing. However, if a homeowner is tech savvy, they can have a couple of cameras installed for < $200 that provides remote viewing and text alerts.

Be especially cautious of signing expensive contracts with a security company with no way to back out of the plan if you are not satisfied. Some expensive setups are no better than cheaper alternatives. Ask for references, especially for other neighbors in Comite Hills or Central.

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