KENSINGTON SQUARE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION
Getting Back to Security Basics
Hello Kensington Square neighbors. We want to pass on some basic tips to help keep you and your family secure in the coming months. The decline in our economy has motivated criminals to look for easy and lucrative opportunities to steal property. Although our somewhat closed community tends to deter a majority of the crime that open communities normally deal with, we still have a level of criminal activity to guard against. Working together, we can help limit criminal opportunities, keeping you, your family and property, and Kensington more secure.
The following tips are based on local and national criminal trends and are proven actions that typically have notable success rates in helping guard against you and your family becoming victims of crime,
Tip #1: Lights - turn on lights at the back and front of your home at dusk, Timers switches are available for lights inside your house so lights are turned on when you are not home and it appears you are home even if you are not. Do-lt-Yourself stores carry motion sensors and timers, which will turn on indoor and outdoor lights at night; lack of lighting can tip criminals to your absence if your house is unlit during the hours of darkness, Criminals don't like lights and prefer to operate in the dark whenever possible to avoid witnesses and possible identification by witnesses.
Tip #2: Lock doors, windows, and turn on home / auto alarms, even while at home. Lock your vehicles at all times, even parked in the garage. Remove valuables from vehicles, or keep them out of sight if you must leave them in the vehicle. Keep garage doors closed to discourage criminals from stealing your property and attempting to enter your home. Unlocked homes/vehicles and visible valuables lead to crimes of convenience, the most predominant crime in all of Fairfax.
Tip #3: When you purchase televisions, computers, game-systems, etc, make sure to cut the boxes up before putting them out in the recycling bins. Thieves often look for these boxes to help them decide which homes are worth breaking into. When possible don't place your valuables so that they can be easily seen from the outside of your home.
Tip #4: Help prevent identity theft. Shred any document which has your personal data on it such as name, address, phone number, credit card number, bank account information, etc. Be careful what personal details you post on social network sites such as Facebook; due to possible vulnerabilities, consider avoiding telling others on these sites about details of your habits, schedules, or vacation plans.
Tip #5: Add some additional security measures to your home. Consider inexpensive door chains and deadbolts; leave a radio or television on during the day to give the appearance that someone is home. Check out www.faketv.com if you don't want to leave a TV on.
Tip #6: Become your Neighborhood and Fairfax County Police Department's "eyes and ears." Criminals sometimes pose as repairmen, delivery persons, or service contractors (Verizon, Cox, etc.), so keep a watchful eye out for these types of perpetrators. AVOID OPENING YOUR DOOR FOR ANYONE YOU DO NOT KNOW. Soliciting in Kensington is not allowed and major service contractors are aware of this, so be careful when talking with these persons and avoid providing any personal information, such as who is normally at your home, their work schedules, etc, If you see someone who is not from your neighborhood acting suspiciously, do not confront them, but call the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) at 703-591-0966. If you call, then the FCPD can dispatch a police unit to check out suspicious persons. You will not sound paranoid and can prevent criminal activity. Better safe than sorry. If you see a crime against persons or property occurring or about to happen, immediately dial 9-1-1, Again, do not confront these suspects, leave this to the professional FCPD officers.
The Fairfax County Citizen Reporting System (CRS) is designed to make it easier and more convenient for you to file a police
report without leaving home; however, not every crime can be reported using the Citizen Reporting System. Please check
out the following web site for more information: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/crs/
Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/oem/residents