Protect yourself and your property

From a letter in part by Supervisor Pat Herrity:

Often times we forget that crime is out there and it can affect us. Fairfax County on the whole and the Springfield District in particular is a very safe place to live. Many of us do not think twice about leaving our doors or garages unlocked and open when walking the dog, or even at night when we go to bed - I have even been guilty of doing this. But we must not forget that by doing these things, we leave ourselves open to opportunists and crime that is largely preventable by just remembering to follow a few good safety tips.

What can you do?

  • Please review the tips below on how you can help protect your home. There is no guarantee that these steps will protect you 100% but they should help.
  • Be vigilant in your neighborhood and immediately call police if you see any suspicious activity. If in doubt, make the call. If it's an emergency, dial 911; if not, call the police non-emergency number at 703-691-2131. License plate numbers of suspicious vehicles are helpful but do not put yourself in danger.

We do still live in a very safe community. I urge all of you to follow these tips, and report any suspicious people or behavior. Our Police Chief has made solving these burglaries the department's number one priority. With your help our Police Department will continue to make Fairfax County one of the best and safest places to live in the United States.

Link to Police Press Releases
The link below will take you to the Police Department's news releases to keep you up to date with the latest information. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/news-releases/

View Crime Incidents in your Area
Visit this link and follow the instructions to search for crime incidents in your area - http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/gisapps/myneighborhood/#police

Safety Tips
Here are a couple of tips that the Police gave our residents at the meeting:

Vehicle Security:

  • Lock all vehicle doors.
  • Remove valuables from vehicle.
  • Absolutely never leave a GPS device affixed to the windshield when not in use, remove and store in console, glove box, or better yet, inside a home.
  • Lock your vehicle even when parked in a garage.
  • If your vehicle has an alarm, please activate when vehicle not in use.
  • If you have an alarm service, i.e., On-Star, Lojack, please keep current on monthly fees (in-service).
  • Be familiar with your vehicle information (VIN, Registration number, Insurance carrier) should an incident occur.
  • Never leave your vehicle idling without someone in the vehicle.
  • Never leave a spare key hidden within the vehicle.
  • Never leave a key in the ignition (unattended).

Home security:

  • Lock all doors and windows to the home when away (vacation, running errands, etc). This holds true at night when you are sleeping.
  • If the home has an alarm system, please use it. Ensure it's registered with the county.
  • If you have an attached garage, please close the door. If on vacation, deactivate the automatic garage door opener.
  • Change your alarm code every once in a while.
  • Lock all interior doors leading to the main house. This includes basement and garage doors.
  • Use exterior lighting. Flood lights, motion detectors, lamp posts are essential to deterrence.
  • Trim bushes around windows.
  • Do not leave valuables in plain view of a window, i.e. a purse sitting on a table next to a door or window.
  • If you "hide" a door key on the exterior of the home, be sure it's well hidden. It's better to give the key to a neighbor.
  • If you have extension ladders in the tool shed, under a deck, etc., it's worth securing with a lock.
  • Secure all tool sheds (easy source of tools to gain entry to your home).
  • Be conscientious of open second story windows, decks, or other means criminals may use to climb to a second story window.
  • Make sure deadbolts are installed on exterior doors (single key, double key).
  • Consider enhanced locking devices for sliding windows (pins).
  • Get to know your neighbors, your neighborhood, watch out for each other.