Saturday, November 28, 2009

Safety Tips 1-3

The following is a short list in a series of tips to be provided. These are things the prudent owner/landlord might do. I offer them for your consideration. Implementation can be costly but you might sleep better at night and in some situations actually save money in the long run...

1. When you purchase a property you should consider immediately changing all the
locks, garage codes, etc.. even if the home is brand new.

2. If the property is a rental, you should immediately change all locks and garage
codes when the tenant vacates.

3. You or your tenant might sleep better if you were to have a good burglar alarm
system installed with contacts on all doors and windows - no matter how small or
high (include fire sensor); also include sensors behind the outside panels
covering the telephone and cable system. Ask your installer to add security
screws to these panels. Consider at least two motion detection sensors, such as
in the master bedroom and main living area; also consider installing a second or
backup alarm siren, maybe in your garage. Post your current Security Company's
signs at your home and add stickers to the windows - remove old/outdated signs
and stickers. Ensure you include your cell phone number one of the emergency
contact numbers the alarm company calls and finally ensure you provide detailed
information to your insurance company of your alarm system for the appropriate
rate discount.

This is a good start if it's in your affordability bracket. Maybe you can accomplish these and future tips yourself or even in stages as funding becomes available. In any event, I hope you find them helpful and as always...

Keep the faith!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hallelujah - The signs are here

You've read and/or heard of the trials and tribulations involving the signage alerting the world that the residents of Desert Pride are watching them come and go in the development (We Are Watching ~ We Were Watching).

Someone has been intent on proving how sneaky and scornful they are by destroying the signage posted about the development. Most recently 6 new signs were replaced on Monday, November 16th and within 3 hours they had disappeared. That would bring the total to 44 signs that have gone missing to date. This City is not paying for these. This has continually been very upsetting considering this extraordinary waste of time, effort and expense but unfortunately it's been the trend that must be dealt with and can only be handled by not giving up. Patience and committing to the safety, welfare and education of the Desert Pride residents has paid off ~ There is great news.

Over a number of months, a plan has been in place to replace the permanent Neighborhood Watch signs at the Ingress and Egress points in Desert Pride with new signs from the National Sheriff's Association which have higher visibility and include the non-emergency phone number to call and report suspicious activity. In addition to replacing the existing signs on the Ingress side, new posts with signs will be installed on the Egress side.

The city has not paid for the signs but has agreed to install them. When an order is placed with The National Sheriff's Association, they will process it but will only deliver the signs to a municipality. This has occurred. The City of La Quinta has received the signs and installation should commence tomorrow Thursday, November 19, 2009.

It would seem the sign thief will have to take up a new sport so please keep an eye on my house and yard and I promise to do the same for you. Remember to keep paper and pen handy and the non-emergency phone number is 1(760) 836-3215 Ext 5.

Keep the faith!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The beat goes on......

In the past couple of weeks, I have met so many of our fellow neighbors by going door to door. My intent is to continue this effort to ensure everyone, including those returning for the season, are aware of the neighborhood watch. This is not because I am bored...but it seems imperative to ensure the word is being spread about the neighborhood watch effort. Not everyone reads everything that comes in the mail and I'm no exception to that.

By now, I would hope that you've seen the yellow and black signs at the ingress and egress points alerting all who enter and leave Desert Pride that their activities are being monitored - "We are watching ~ We were watching". (After conversing with those on my outings, I am please to announce that so many of you do a great job) You know by word of mouth or reading earlier blogs that our signs were targeted by thieves and vandals and even some of our own neighbors complained about them (according to the Code Compliance Dept.) so the City had pulled them even after full notification of their existence and the intent, presentation for review and compliance with municipal code and indication of intended placement, and let's not forget authorization of the 6 property owners where they were placed. The complete background of the signs can be reviewed in earlier blogs so I won't bore you. I prefer to update you.

The effort continues with the signs as the City has now acknowledged that any private citizen(s) can place a sign on their property so long as it conforms under the provisions of the Municipal Code. The signs went back up only to be removed again by someone???? The line of thinking is that there are 3 possibilities:

a) The person who was arrested for tampering with the signs continues to do so out of spite or the friends he was visiting in Desert Pride are doing so out of sore feelings for his being caught; or

b) Other young people are doing it either en route to or from school or during the afternoon and evenings when out and about with friends. Some signs have been tagged (gang-type writing to identify property/existence) which is being analyzed by the police. The police have recognized a pattern and maybe be able to narrow down the area that this person(s) lives in the development; or

c) A resident who has been a victim of break-in(s) has decided that Neighborhood Watch can't help him/them. This may even be the person(s) who called the City or who writes negative things on the signs placed throughout the Development. This acting out against an effort like Neighborhood Watch is likened to a soldier in battle getting shot and then punching the guy next to him because he got shot. This is difficult to understand. We are all on the same team. No one wants anybody to suffer a loss anymore than they want to suffer a loss themselves. The goal is to maintain a good or better quality of life and ensure that Desert Pride continues to be a highly desirable our property values as high as possible.

The yellow and black signs have been a fill-in awaiting new signs from the National Sheriff's Association. The new signs, approved by the City (in fact they will be installing them in the near futur) will replace the existing sings on the Ingress side and will be newly added to the Egress side. The new 'Blue Eye' signs will contain the non-emergency phone number for reporting issues, as everyone knows 911.

In the meantime, I have just received the newest batch of yellow and black signs so until the new 'Blue Eye' signs go up....keep your eyes and ears open and paper and pen in a convenient place............the beat goes on.....

Keep the faith!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Prevention is a good thing but let's be real .....

Walking around Desert Pride recently, I spotted a lot of old yard signs and window decals for Home Security companies that no longer exist. A lot of signs have been moved by landscapers or may be half-hidden by brush, fallen down or been knocked down. Kind of reminds me of the bad habits regarding our personal security we can get into sometimes, including me...but those I'll write about another day.

If you have a Home Security system, this is probably not interesting to you but it should be because you wouldn't be the first home broken into that has a security system. It's not fool-proof. Most don't have alarms loud enough to alert neighbors. They ring at the service company's office-Great! If you're not home to get the call asking if everything is OK, what good has that done you. By the time the company alerts police to respond, most thieves are in-out-gone. If your service is by a company that bought or merged with another company or simply changed it's name, you should do whatever it takes to get new signs and numerous decals/stickers AND put them in conspicuous places. Your first line of defense is putting the would-be-robbers) on notice that you have an up-to-date, operating system. If your landscaper moves the signs and doesn't move them back - chew him out. You pay for the service and you want everyone to know it's there.

If you purchased a house that is equipped but the system is not actively monitored by a company (You've been meaning to call...) and you still have signs, etc... especially signs with out-dated names on them or maybe you don't even have a system so you bought some signs on EBay... - Guess what? - Criminals Read Too!!!!!

You may want to explore realistic options to improve security for you and the family.

Keep the faith!