How to Keep Your Stuff Safe While You’re Away for the Holidays

The holiday season is here, and for many of you, that means an extended break from your apartment. We do everything that we can do ensure the safety and well-being of our tenants and their homes. We carefully screen our applicants to ensure that those with criminal records or drug convictions do not obtain a lease with us. Unfortunately, home invasions and burglary traditionally reach their peak during the holidays so we encourage you to be vigilant and follow these tips to deter break-ins while you’re away.

#1 Stop your mail if you’re leaving for more than 5 days.
Other than avoiding the potential frustration of coming home to a pile of mail and newspapers, this tip can protect your home. By keeping your mail from piling up, would be burglars are more likely to be unaware of your absence.

If you haven’t already, get renters insurance!
This one is applicable for the entire year, not just the holidays! Protect yourself in case of the worst. Read more about it here.

Have a friend or neighbor check in.
If you will be away for a while, notify a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your home. Let your trusted confidant know of your travel plans and if you can have them check in on your apartment in your absence. Be sure to get them a nice gift to reward them for their help!

Unplug appliances.
Sure, your toaster may seem harmless,but unexpected electrical accidents can cause a fire that can potentially destroy an unattended apartment. Be safe and unplug all unnecessary appliances.

Use a timer
A indoor timer can be purchased at most hardware stores and be used to make it appear someone is home. You can plug in radios, televisions and lights so that the home looks occupied. A well-lit area is one way to deter crime so keep a light on at night if possible.

Test and examine each latch, lock, window and door.
Look to see if there are solid core doors, peep holes on entry doors, and securely fastened window locks.

If there are sliding glass doors, invest in a secondary locking device
This can be as simple as a broom stick that prevents the door from opening or as complex as “Charley Bars” pin-locking mechanisms or anti-lift measures to prevent the door from being lifted from the tracks.

Never hesitate to report any suspicious activity you may see in and around our properties (or on campus). Program these numbers into your phone and keep them somewhere visible so you can quickly call for help if needed (you can also call 911).
University Police Station – 541-682-8350

After you report any suspicious activity to the police, report it to us by calling the von Klein Emergency # – 541-686-0743

Sources:
10 Tips for Safe and Secure Apartment Living 
5 Apartment Safety Tips to Help You Sleep Easy 
Apartment Safety and Security 

 

 

Top 10 Holiday Travel Tips 2016

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The holiday season is here, and with it many will start considering their future travel plans. The unfortunate truth is that holiday travel can be an oft stressful time if not handled with patience and preparation. To that end, we are sharing our top 10 Holiday Travel Tips to guarantee your holiday is nothing but sleigh bells and egg nog.

Empty Apartment Tips

  1. Stop your mail if you’re leaving for more than 5 days.

Other than avoiding the potential frustration of coming home to a pile of mail and newspapers, this tip can protect your home. By keeping your mail from piling up, would be burglars are more likely to be unaware of your absence.

2. If you haven’t already, get renters insurance!

This one is applicable for the entire year, not just the holidays! Protect yourself in case of the worst. Read more about it here.

3. Have a friend or neighbor check in.

Let your trusted confidant know of your travel plans and if you can have them check in on your apartment in your absence. Be sure to get them a nice gift to reward them for their help!

4. Unplug appliances.

Sure, your toaster may seem harmless, but freak and unexpected electrical accidents can cause a fire that can potentially destroy an unattended apartment. Be safe and unplug all unnecessary appliances. You can have your lights plugged in to an automatic timer to give your apartment the illusion of being lived in an attended (see our first tip).

Car Travel Tips

5. Have your car examined before you leave.

The last thing thing anybody wants is to have their car break down when traveling out of town for the holidays. Avoid being stranded from home by having your car examined and ensure it’s winter ready.

6. Pack for the worst!

Sure, gifts and clothes will undoubtedly occupy most of your suitcase space, but you need to have a kit ready for those problematic situations. A car charger, a phone charger, jumper cables, sand for traction on snow, an ice scraper, flashlights, a first aid kit… you get the picture.

7. Take breaks when driving.

When driving for long stretches, be sure to pull over and stretch your legs. It’s important to stay alert when you’re behind the wheel, and more so when driving in the winter time.

Plane Travel Tips

8. Pack light.

By avoiding checking bags you can skip the frustration of potentially losing a suitcase full of gifts and/or clothes. Better yet, you can avoid the checked baggage fees most domestic airlines charge.

9. Travel on off-peak days.

If you’re looking to help your wallet, avoid peak travel days. Not only will you save some dough, you’ll avoid the madness that are the crowds of an airport at full capacity. If you really want to avoid the hassle and save even more money, consider traveling on the holiday itself! Not only is it cheaper but it’s guaranteed to be much calmer.

10. Ship Gifts Ahead of Time

This one applies no matter the method of transportation, but applies to none more so than air travel. Not only do you avoid potentially losing/damaging gifts, but you save yourself the hassle of packing and lugging gift with you on an already chaotic travel day. With a bit of pre-planning your day will be considerably simpler.

With these handy tips in mind, nothing will interrupt your travels be they by plane, train, or automobile. Happy holidays!

 

photo credit: alist Denver Airport Security Lines via photopin (license)

Apartment Safety 101: 10 Tips to Keep Your Apartment Safe and Secure

Apartment SafetyAt Von Klein Property Management, we do everything that we can do ensure the safety and wellbeing of our tenants and their homes. We carefully screen our applicants to ensure that those with criminal records or drug convictions do not obtain a lease with us.

Unfortunately home invasions and burglary traditionally reach their peak during the holidays so we encourage you to be vigilant and follow these tips to deter criminals:

1. Never hesitate to report any suspicious activity you may see in and around our properties (or on campus).  Program these numbers into your phone and keep them somewhere visible so you can quickly call for help if needed (you can also call 911).
University Police Station – 541-682-8350

After you report any suspicious activity to the police, report it to us by calling the von Klein Emergency # – 541-686-0743

2. This may seem obvious, but it remains an important tip: NEVER leave your apartment door unlocked, even if you are leaving for a few moments to obtain something from you car, get the mail or take out the trash. Someone lurking nearby could gain access quickly.

3. Never open your door to a stranger. Require all utility/repair men to provide identification before opening the door. If there is no peephole, have the repairman slip the ID under the door so you can check it out. If still uncertain, look up the telephone number, (do not accept one they give you) and call to verify the information.

4. Use a timer (an inexpensive purchase from a hardware store) for radios, televisions and lights so that the home looks occupied. If you will be away for a while, notify a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your home.

5. A well-lit area is one way to deter crime so keep a light on at night if possible. If you notice that a light is out on our property or parking lots, please notify our office.

6. Do not leave valuable items visible in your home or car.  Close your blinds at night and keep your car doors locked and park in well lighted areas if possible.

7. Get to know your neighbors. Introduce yourself to them, get to know who they are and try look out for each other. If your neighbors know who you are, they are more likely to report possible criminal activity and get some help.

8. Test and examine each latch, lock, window and door. Look to see if there are solid core doors, peep holes on entry doors, and securely fastened window locks.

9. If there are sliding glass doors, invest in a secondary locking device– it can be as simple as a broom stick that prevents the door from opening or as complex as “Charley Bars” pin-locking mechanisms or anti-lift measures to prevent the door from being lifted from the tracks.

10. Try to use common area facilities during high-traffic hours. Do not feel compelled to change laundry if your common sense tells you to stay away from an empty laundry room.

Sources:
10 Tips for Safe and Secure Apartment Living 
5 Apartment Safety Tips to Help You Sleep Easy 
Apartment Safety and Security 

Duck Spotlight: CommUniversity Assistant Program

The CommUniversity Assistant Program (CAP).
Photo Source: The CommUniversity Assistant Program (CAP) on Facebook.

Living off campus can be an exciting and rewarding time for students where they can experience independence and personal freedom.

But for some students, that increased freedom can come at a cost. It’s confusing and stressful for inexperienced first time renters to learn the ropes, navigate their way through issues with other roommates, neighbors and addressing safety concerns. It’s often hard to know who students can turn to, which is one of the primary reasons why the University of Oregon Office of the Dean of Students launched The CommUniversity Assistant Program (CAP).

CommUniversity Assistants are student leaders (CAPs) hired by the University to live in student-populated neighborhoods and serve as liaisons between students and the greater community. These students know first hand the issues students face and work to create positive off-campus student living where students can study, have fun and thrive.

The organization works to educate students on their rights and responsibilities and the impact of student behavior on residents, business owners, and property owners. They also provide resources to students with scheduled programs throughout the year like the Off-Campus Housing Fair, Move-Out Event, Taking it to the Streets, and Winter Family Weekend. Think of them as the “What To Do and Where To Go” People.

The Goals of CAPs are to:
• To foster positive relationships between edge neighborhoods (residents, business owners, and property owners) and the University (students and employees). Provide value to the University and the community in this relationship.

• To improve quality of life for students who reside off-campus, to advance student learning.

• To increase access to campus and community resources for students who reside off-campus.

To learn more about this program and how it can benefit you, contact the CommUniversity Assistant Program through one of the following channels:

Telephone: 541-346-3216
E-mail: communiversity@uoregon.edu
Facebook: www.facebook.com/UOCommUniversity
Twitter: www.twitter.com/comm_university
Office of the Dean of Students
164 Oregon Hall

Links and Additional Resources:
dailyemerald.com
www.facebook.com/UOCommUniversity

Off Campus Apartment Safety Tips

Photo Source: ducktv.uoregon.edu
Photo Source: ducktv.uoregon.edu

It can be argued that neighborhoods near college campuses tend to have higher rates of property crime in many cities, and Eugene is no exception. Taking sensible precautions is the best way to reduce your chance of becoming a victim yourself. Here are a few steps you can take now to help protect yourself, and your stuff!

Protect Yourself

*Be Present. Know your surroundings. Save that text for when you reach your destination.

*Use the Buddy System. If possible, avoid traveling alone at night.

*Look for the light. Use well-lit paths after dark, and avoid bushes or dense shrubbery.

*Trust your instincts. If something or someone seems suspicious, avoid the person or leave and call 911 immediately.

*Have your keys ready in hand when walking to your home or vehicle.

Protect Your Stuff

*Laptops, clothes, and stereo equipment are among the most commonly stolen property. Do not leave these items unattended.

*If you must travel with valuables and leave them in your car, keep them out of sight, preferably in the trunk.

*Never keep your vehicle title, credit cards, wallet, purse, cash or other important documents inside your vehicle.

*Park in well-lit areas.

*Always lock doors and windows including your residence and vehicles.

*EPD is offering steering wheel locks for sale at the wholesale price of $12.50. You can buy one at the Eugene police substation at E. 13th Avenue and Alder Street.

*Don’t prop open building, laboratory or office doors.

*For bicycles: Register your bike online at parking.uoregon.edu/content/bicycle-registration.

*Use a U Bolt-type lock. Cable or chain locks can be cut in seconds.

Below are a few more helpful links with safety tips, and emergency numbers. Stay safe out there!

collegelife.about.com

learningcenter.statefarm.com

admissions.uoregon.edu/studentlife/safety

For more information:

On campus:

UO Police Department
police.uoregon.edu
Emergencies: CALL 911
Non-emergencies: Call 541-346-2919

Off campus:

Eugene Police Department
Emergencies: CALL 911
Non-emergencies: 541-682-5111
Crime Prevention: 541-682-5178

Hosting a Gathering? 8 Ways to Do it Responsibly

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Now that warmer weather is here to stay (for a while anyway) and the spring term will soon be wrapping up, graduations are happening, and lots of you are are eager to celebrate!

We are all for celebrations and fun, but urge our tenants to be responsible to avoid unnecessary damage,  fines, or worse-injury and jail time. Remember that you can be held responsible for the actions of your guests and an out of control party can cost you hundreds of dollars in both criminal and civil fines.

Here are some tips on how to host a gathering without risking fines or even jail time.

1. Know and respect local laws and ordinances.

Here are just some common offenses listed by the Eugene Police Department you need to be aware of:

Allowing Alcohol Consumption by Minors: No person who exercises control of private real property shall knowingly allow a minor to drink alcohol on the property or remain on the property after consuming. Offense: Violation Fine: Up to $1,000

Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor: No one shall sell, give, or otherwise make available any
alcoholic liquor to a person under the age of 21 years. Offense: Class A Misd. Fine: Up to $6,250 (jailable)

Disorderly Conduct: With intent to cause public inconvenience or annoyance or recklessly creating a risk thereof: a) Engages in fighting or violent behavior; b) Makes unreasonable noise; c) Disturbs any lawful assembly; d) Obstructs any vehicular or pedestrian traffic; e) Refuses to disperse when ordered to do so; f) Initiates or circulates a report known to be false regarding fire, crime or other emergency; g) Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition. Offense: Crime Fine: Up to $1,000 (jailable)

Open Container/ Consumption in Public: Consumption of alcoholic liquor or possession of an open alcoholic beverage container is prohibited in all public places and all private property extended to the public for use. Offense: Crime Fine: Up to $500 (jailable)

Prohibited Noise: Intentionally or recklessly creating or continuing any noise disturbance (meaning any sound which injures or endangers the safety or health of a human, or which annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities). Operating or permitting the use or operation of any device designed for sound production between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. that is plainly audible within another dwelling; the same applies on public property or right-of-ways if it is plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet or more.

2. Be considerate to your neighbors.

If you are hosting a gathering, the most responsible thing you can do is to talk to your neighbors before you have your party. Tell them your plans, and give them a telephone number and the name of the person to contact if there is a problem (and be responsive to their calls!).

3. Keep it small.

Your house or apartment is designed to accommodate a certain number of people. Your gathering
should not exceed the capacity of your home. Remember,more guests equals more responsibility. “Come one, come all” parties usually result in police contact. Don’t let random people who are walking around looking for a party into your house.

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4. Be cooperative with any neighbor, police, or other concerned person who might come by to discuss a problem.

5. End your party at a reasonable time.

6. Clean up after your party.

7. Drink Responsibly.

Very very important!  As the party host, you are liable for your guests.  If you choose to serve alcohol, ensure that you only serve to persons 21 years of age or older or you could risk serious consequences. Ensure people don’t drive under the influence (a person riding a bicycle under the influence also may be arrested for DUII). Arrange for transportation by a designated driver before anyone drinks. Make sure arrangements are understood by everyone.

8. In case of emergency, have these numbers handy:

Eugene Police Department
9-1-1 Emergencies/crimes in progress
682-5111 Non-emergency Police
682-5137 Crime prevention
682-8350 13th & Alder police station

University Campus/DPS
346-5444 Dept. of Public Safety
346-0653 Assault Prevention Shuttle
346-3216 Office of Student Life

Article Sources

Eugene Police Department

University of Oregon: “Throwing a Party?”

photo credit: missmareck via photopin cc

photo credit: marsmet553 via photopin cc