Category Archives: Pine Hollow

Prom Safety Tips

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S., and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teens are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers. The Department of Transportation reports that 5,000 teens are injured or killed over a typical prom weekend.

Local proms are approaching, so here are some safety tips:

  • Ask your teen for a detailed itinerary for prom night, including venues, times and contact numbers.
  • Know exactly what after-prom activities are taking place and where – if at a friend’s house, call the parents to confirm and make sure that alcohol will not be present.
  • Establish an agreed-upon curfew.
  • Meet your teen’s prom date prior to the big night.
  • Know the names of each individual in your teen’s prom group.
  • Make sure your teen will have a charged cell phone that is turned on with them at all times.
  • Set up established “check-in” times when your teen will call you.
  • Provide an “out” for your teen, a contact number of someone they can call at any time to get home or get help, to have on hand before prom.
  • Ensure the vehicle they will be driving is property maintained and fueled prior to their departure.
  • Remind your teen not to use alcohol or drugs or ride in a vehicle with anyone under the influence.
  • Remind your teen to call home if there are any changes in plans or destinations. This includes even small changes, such as picking up an additional friend on the way to the post-prom party.

Thank you to our friends in Pine Hollow for sharing!

Student Scholarships Available

  • Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship: 150 Coca-Cola Scholars are selected each year to receive this $20,000 scholarship. For more information, visit http://www.coca-colascholarsfoundation.org/applicants/.
  • The 2014-2015 NASA High School Aerospace Scholars (HAS) Project: Students will be competitively selected to travel to Johnson Space Center in Houston during the summer. High school juniors interested in applying for the HAS should visit http://HAS.aerospacescholars.org/.
  • Navy ROTC Scholarship: The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Scholarship Program offers up to $180,000 for tuition plus a host of other advantages. Interested students may start the application process during the second semester of their junior year, and can find more information at http://www.navy.com/joining/education-opportunities/nrotc/.

Thank you to our friends in Pine Hollow for sharing!

Crime Prevention: Ransomware Goes Mobile

The emergence of mobile ransomware, a form of malware, presents a growing threat to smartphone users.  Cybercriminals use ransomware to lock a device or encrypt its data, then demand payment to restore the device to its previous state. They are using social engineering ploys, malicious links and stolen user credentials to infect mobile devices.

Here are some best practices to prevent, mitigate, and recover from a ransomware infection:

  • Download applications only from trusted sources
  • Ensure antivirus/antimalware software is installed and up to date
  • Back up the data on your mobile phone regularly to an external device or location
  • Recognize that paying a ransom may not cause the device to be unlocked, as promised, or may be a temporary unlock
  • Ensure mobile device permission are set to prevent applications from being able to take control of the device
  • Review US-CERT security tips on safe browsing, available at www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips (US-Cert is the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a division of the Department of Homeland Security)
 Thank you to our friends in Pine Hollow for sharing!

 

City of Pearland: Water Quality Line Maintenance

The City of Pearland is partnering with the City of Houston to perform maintenance of the City’s potable water system, which will ensure water quality. The maintenance process will begin September 29, 2014 and continue through October. The City of Pearland purchases surface water from the City of Houston and that water is treated and blended with Pearland-produced well water and delivered to homes or businesses.

Typically, water disinfection treatment occurs through the addition of chlorine or bleach and ammonia. Starting September 29 and through October, the City will be using bleach only as part of the maintenance process – which is performed in accordance with State and Federal drinking water regulations.

Customers may notice a slight change in taste and odor of the tap water for a short period of time; however, the water is safe for daily uses including drinking, cooking, and bathing. The Public Works Department will sample and test the water to monitor the effectiveness of the maintenance process.

Dialysis Centers, home dialysis machine users, owner of aquatic tanks, and restaurants with shell fish holding tanks are advised that the methods for testing and removing free chlorine residuals differ from chloramine residuals. Both types of residuals if not handled properly may affect dialysis users and aquatic tanks. We apologize for the inconvenience. Pearland residents and businesses are encouraged to take all necessary preventative measures to ensure the safety of dialysis users and aquatic owners.

If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please contact the Public Works Department at 281.652.1900.

Thank you to our friends in Pine Hollow for sharing!

Two Steps, One Sticker: Inspection and Registration All-in-One!

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles recently announced that the State of Texas will stop issuing inspection stickers and transition to a “Two Steps, One Sticker” vehicle inspection and registration system in 2015. This means you no longer have to worry about two separate stickers with two different expiration dates.

The “Two Steps, One Sticker” process works like this: you will be required to get and pass a vehicle inspection no more than 90 days prior to the date your registration expires. Once the inspection is complete, the inspection station will update your electronic inspection record with the results and issue you a paper copy of the vehicle inspection report (VIR). When you go to register your vehicle, whether in person, via mail, or online, your inspection record will be verified electronically to determine if your vehicle has passed inspection and is eligible for registration at that time.

TXDMV states that this change is beneficial to Texans as you now only have one date to remember, this prevents inspection sticker fraud and theft, increases motorist visibility, enhances inspection compliance resulting in safer cars on our roads, and saves the taxpayer money. For more information, visit the TxDMV website.

Thanks to our friends in Pine Hollow for sharing!

Tips for Kids Who Need to Be Home Alone After School

With school back in session, many children of working parents come home and stay alone out of necessity. Here are a few things to teach your children for their safety for the short time they are home alone:

  • Check in with you by phone or a neighbor by phone or in person immediately after arriving home after school.
  • Make sure they know the purpose of and how to call 9-1-1.
  • Make sure they know your home address and phone number in case of an emergency.
  • Make sure they know never accept gifts or rides from people that haven’t been arranged by you in advance; use a “code word” so that your child and a pre-arranged person can exchange it and know that it’s safe.
  • Make sure your children know how to use the door and window locks, and the alarm system if you have one.  Also teach them the emergency code on the alarm system that calls the police but does not set off the audible alarm.
  • Make sure they know to never let anyone into your home without asking your permission.
  • Teach them to never let a caller at the door or on the phone know that they are alone. Teach them to say, “Mom can’t come to the phone (or door) right now.”
  • Give them their own house key to always keep with them in a safe place (inside a shirt pocket or sock). Don’t leave it under a mat or on a ledge outside the house.
  • Go over an escape plan in case of a fire.
  • Teach them not to go into your empty house or apartment if things don’t look right, for example, if a window is broken, a screen is ripped or a door is opened.

If your children are to be in charge of themselves at home, sit them down and talk about activities they can do and the routines they are to follow. Discuss family policies on entertaining and visiting friends and what to do when the phone or doorbell rings. Make sure to discuss these things several times to make sure that your kids truly understand how important their safety is! If you need more tips or for a Community Services Officer to come out and do a Home Safety Inspection, call the Pearland Police Department at 281-997-4100 and ask for Officer Z. Davis or Officer Daniel Hamminga.

Thanks to our Friends in Pine Hollow for a portion of this article!

Community Clean Up September 6

KPB

Date: Saturday, September 6

Time: 7:30 a.m. Start

Location: Keep Pearland Beautiful – 3923 Liberty Drive

Keep Pearland Beautiful hosts two community clean ups every year. On this date, volunteers across Pearland clean Adopt-A-Spots (up to 72 miles of roads, parks and schools in Pearland). Join us at 7:30AM for breakfast, pick up supplies and head out to pick up litter! This is a great event for all ages and families.

Contact Lenora at ltollefson@mykpb.org or call 281.652.1659 for more information about volunteering at this event!

Thanks to our friends in Pine Hollow for the information!

Don’t Be a Victim of Car Burglary!

If you look at the crime report resources on Pearland Police Department’s “Police-2-Citizen” resource, you may be surprised at the number of car burglaries that happen in Pearland.

The Pearland Police Department offers these tips to help keep citizens from becoming a victim of a car burglary:

  • LOCK YOUR CAR – You’d think this would be automatic, but many people still have the “small town” mindset and think they’re okay leaving their cars, and even homes, unlocked
  • At home or on the road, keep valuables out of plain sight
  • Secure purses, computers, GPS systems, radar detectors, mp3 players, etc. in the home or in the trunk
  • Bags, briefcases or backpacks make tempting targets for car burglars; don’t leave them in the car 
  • Don’t trust that window tint will keep your valuables hidden

Taking the time to secure your valuables will keep you from becoming a victim. In a neighborhood or out on the road, report any suspicious activity to the Pearland Police Department at 281.997.4100. You may also submit a tip online. For those of you in Brazoria County Sheriff jurisdiction, you may call 281.756.2392 or visit their website for more information.

Thank you to our friends in Pine Hollow for these tips!

Home Security: Are Your Doors Secure?

Understanding door security is important because doors are the most common entrance points into the home. Everyone should understand that the main idea behind door security is to delay entry. There are very few doors in existence that can withstand hours or days of assault.

Doors selected to guard a home should be constructed of metal, fiberglass (rated to be used as an outside door), or solid wood. Never place a hollow core door at an entrance point into a home.

If a glass panel door is in place, those on the inside can see out but whoever is on the outside can also see in. A decorative door does not have to contain glass; a solid door with a 180 degree peephole is effective and still can look just as nice.

For locks, a bolt lock with a one-inch throw and a matching key-in-knob lock should be sufficient. This is a standard set up on most doors. However, some homeowners choose to upgrade to an anti-pick and bump resistant locks, but this is an additional cost.

Rarely does law enforcement see a lock that has been picked or bumped. Most burglars simply kick in the door. In that scenario, the lock does not fail; the door frame does. Upon close inspection of the door frame, a metal plate with holes punched through it matching the size of the bolt lock should be visible. This plate is called a latch plate. Standard latch plates have two screws that secure it to the door frame. Remove those screws and check their length. Most will be around 3/8 of an inch. All a burglar would need to do is push the bolt lock and latch plate through the thin piece of wood molding. It is recommended to replace the 3/8 inch screws with 3-inch screws. In most cases, this will give the screw enough length to attach to a 2 x 4 used in the home’s frame. This makes the door tougher to kick in.

There is always more that can be done to increase door security. Buying a $10 security latch plate at a local hardware store could help make a door more secure. These latch plates are generally seven to eight inches long and allow for more reinforcement by increasing from two securing screws to six.

A second line of defense for doors is a home security system. If a glass panel door is present on the home, make sure to have glass-break sensors installed.

Thanks to our friends in Pine Hollow for this safety tip!

Credit Card Skimmers: The Latest in Identity Theft

Unfortunately, there has been an outbreak of credit card number theft in Pearland during the last two months. Yet, you rarely let your credit card out of your sight, so how do thieves get your credit card information? Some may get it from a friend waiting tables at a restaurant, but many credit card thieves get your card information using a device called a Credit Card Skimmer.

A credit card skimmer is a portable capture device that is attached in front of or on top of the legitimate scanner.  The skimmer passively records the card data as you insert your credit card into the real scanner. So, how can you detect and avoid having your credit card skimmed at the ATM or gas pump?

  1. Inspect the card reader and the area near the PIN pad. Most skimming devices are designed to be temporarily affixed to the ATM or gas pump so they can be easily retrieved by the bad guys once they’ve collected a batch of cardholder data. If you think the scanning device doesn’t look like it matches the machine’s color and style, it might be a skimmer.
  2. Look at other nearby gas pumps or ATM card readers to see if they match the one you are using. Unless skimmers are running a large operation, they probably are only skimming at one gas pump at a time at the station you are using. Look at the pump next to yours to see if the card reader and set up look different. If they do then you might have just spotted a skimmer.
  3. Trust your instincts. If in doubt, use another machine somewhere else. If you get a sense that something looks off about the ATM you are about to use, you might be better off using one that you feel more comfortable with.
  4. Avoid using your PIN at the gas pump. When you pay at the pump with your debit/credit card, you usually have the option to use it as a credit or a debit card. It’s best to choose the credit option that allows you to avoid entering your PIN in sight of a card skimmer camera.
  5. Keep an eye on your accounts. If you suspect that you might have had your card skimmed, report any suspicious activity immediately to the Police, your credit card company and/or bank.

Watch the video below to see how easy it can be for someone to steal your credit card information:

ATM with and without a skimmer attached.

ATM with and without a skimmer attached.

 

Thank you to our Friends in Pine Hollow for the text information!