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)

It’s Party Time! Do You Know About the Social Host Ordinance?

Wild Party

 

4th of July is approaching and you’re no doubt already planning your own party and/or being invited to get-togethers with friends. Before you get too carried away with planning your BBQs and events, however, you should keep the Social Host Ordinance in mind.

Wait, the What?

The Social Host Ordinance (also known as The Ordinance on Unruly Gatherings) is a law that holds individuals responsible for organizing and hosting an unruly event. In other words, if your party gets out of hand, you’re criminally responsible for it.

What Constitutes a Disorderly Gathering?

That’s a fair question, after all one person’s disorderly gathering might be another person’s book club. Here are the telltale signs of a party that will land you in trouble:

  • Over-packed gatherings filling out onto the streets.
  • Under-age drinking.
  • Open alcohol container/consumption in public.
  • Noise pollution that affects neighbors.
  • Interfering with a police officer.
  • Drunk and disorderly conduct.

In other words, if it’s likely to result in a call to the police, it’s considered a disorderly gathering.

What about Fireworks?

Legal Fireworks are permitted to be used between June 23-July 6 and December 31-Jan 1. Your 4th of July party should be fine having them, but you won’t be allowed to use them the rest of the year.

What Can I Do to Avoid Getting in Trouble?

Below are some suggestions from the City of Eugene to keep your party safe and acceptable:

Keep a Guest List

Though it’s always tempting to adopt a “come one come all” attitude about your party, this typically ends with a party at max capacity pouring out onto the streets. By knowing ahead of time how many people you’re inviting you’ll limit the party’s capacity to escalate beyond reasonable levels.

Inform Your Neighbors

Let your neighbors know the date and time of your party beforehand. While you’re at it, give them your phone number and contact information should any concerns arise. This step will go along way to avoiding the police being called on your event (and also makes you a better neighbor).

21+ Only

Keep your party legal! If there’s going to be drinking make sure all guests are of the legal drinking age.

Monitor Noise Levels

Keep an eye (an ear?) on the noise levels of your party. Don’t blast your music to the point where people have to yell to one another and keep the hollering to a minimum.

Clean Up After Yourself

Your neighbors are less likely to have any issues with your (or involve the police) if your party is organized and clean.  Pick up after yourself when the event’s over.

Prevent Drunk Driving

Regardless of the Social Host Ordinance, this should be a rule for every party you host or are a part of. Do not allow your friends or you yourself drink and drive, or breaking the law will be the least of your concerns.

Be Polite to the Police

Look we get it, nobody wants the police showing up at their door, but it’s important to remember that they are doing their job. Be courteous and helpful should the authorities come with concerns about your party.

Call The Police if Needed

Call the police to your own party? When it’s getting out of hand or becoming dangerous, absolutely. If things reach the point where you yourself can’t control it, give the authorities a call.

That’s a good starting point on the Social Host Ordinance and should be enough to help you plan your upcoming summer parties. If you want to know more, you can read about the ordinance at Party Safe, Party Responsibly.  Have fun!

photo credit: Kids gone crazy 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 

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

Keep Your Rental Home or Apartment Secure for the Holidays

The BurglarNow that the holidays are here, we want to take a few minutes to remind all of our tenants to enjoy the season, but to be safe.  Renters are often more vulnerable to break-ins during the holidays since so many leave town to visit family and friends for extended period of time.

While we do everything on our end to ensure the safety of our tenants by installing secure door and window locks, well lit parking lots, and in some properties providing gated underground parking and keycard access, we encourage you to take a few minutes to do a security “audit” to diminish the chances of experiencing an unfortunate break-in or robbery during the holiday season.

Whether you are traveling for several days or just going out for an errand, take a few minutes to ensure that your home is secure against any intruders. 

Here are some things to remember:

  • The majority of apartment burglaries occur during the daytime when most people are away at work or at school. Burglaries also occur at night when there are obvious signs that no one is home.
  • Most apartment burglars are looking for things that are small, expensive, and can easily be converted to cash. Items like cash, jewelry, guns, watches, laptop computers, and other small electronic devices are high on the list.
  • More than 30% of all apartment burglars gained access through an open door or window. Ordinary household tools like screwdrivers, channel-lock pliers, small pry bars, and small hammers are most often used by burglars.
  • The burglar’s selection process is simple. Choose an unoccupied apartment with the easiest access, the greatest amount of cover, and with the best escape routes. What follows is a list of suggestions to minimize your risk by making your home unattractive to potential burglars.

Source: www.crimedoctor.com

Be vigilant and follow these tips to deter criminals:

  • 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
  • Don’t leave a key underneath your door mat or a rock. Most intruders know all the hiding spots so instead, leave an extra key with a trusted neighbor.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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– 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.

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

photo credit: Eastlaketimes via photopin cc