New Year's Checklist

Happy New Year!

Below are just a few things you should do as we start this New Year to keep from becoming a victim:

  • If you received electronic items as gifts, be sure to break down the boxes and place them in the proper trash receptacle (you don’t want to advertise what items you have in your home).
  • The New Year is a good time to write down serial numbers and descriptions of items. You should also take pictures of jewelry (use a black background and lay items next to a yard stick) and don’t forget to write a brief description of it. You can also choose to go through your home with a video recorder. Describe items in each room and give serial numbers when possible. 
  • Make two copies of your serial number and jewelry list or video; keep one in a safe place at home and the other in your safe deposit box or other safe place away from your home in case that list is taken or destroyed.
  • Review all credit card and bank statements.
  • Request a free annual copy of your credit report from one of the credit reporting bureaus every 4 months.
  • Check all the locks on your doors and windows. Be sure they work properly or have them repaired.
  • If you have a camera on your home be sure it is working properly. 
  • If you have an alarm monitoring system, call the alarm company to check that it’s working properly. If your alarm company signs are faded, ask if they will provide you with new ones. 
  • Update your computer firewalls and antivirus software.
  • Check your fire and carbon monoxide alarms and replace batteries if needed. 
  • Put together a family emergency plan and update out of state telephone contacts. 

You may review your credit for any discrepancies and/or unauthorized credit report checks from the following reputable sources:

  • Equifax: 1-800-685-1111 or
  • Experian: 1-800-397-3742 or
  • TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800 or
  • In addition, do not  forget to get a copy of your child’s credit report and review it too.
  • After you’ve removed the decorations and taken down holiday lighting, take a home security survey of your home. Check your outside lighting; is it adequate and are the motion detectors or dusk to dawn lights working properly?

If it has been a year since your last Neighborhood Watch Block meeting or you’ve never had one, it’s time to talk to your neighbors about scheduling one. Please call the Community Engagement Bureau at 626-451-5455 (We usually need at least a 2- or 3-week notice).