General Information

Here is a hodge-podge of general information.

Burglary Basics
Disaster Preparedness
Dumpster Days

The Burglary Basics

  • The Basics:
    • Make your home look occupied, and make it difficult to break in.
    • Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
    • Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
    • Keep your garage door closed and locked.
    • Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
    • Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
    • Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
    • Pushbutton locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
    • Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
    • Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.
  • Don't Tempt a Thief:
    • Lawn mowers, barbecues and bicycles are best stored out of sight.
    • Always lock your garden sheds and garages.
    • Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
    • Never leave notes on your door such as "Gone shopping."
  • Locks — Get the Best:
    • No lock, regardless of its quality, can be truly effective. Key-in dead bolt locks provide minimum security. Ask a locksmith for advice on your situation.
    • Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
    • When moving into a new home, have all locks changed.
  • Targeting the Outside:
    • Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
    • Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
    • Make sure your door hinges are on the inside.
    • Install bells on your exterior gates
    • Install “Beware of Dog” signs (dog or not)
  • Windows:
    • Most windows can be pinned for security.
    • Drill a 3/16" hole on a slight downward slant through the inside window frame and halfway into the outside frame - place a nail in the hole to secure the window.
  • Alarms:
    • An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There is a wide variety of alarm systems on the market.
    • Make several inquiries to different companies for the best security system available to you.
  • If Your Home Is Broken Into:
    • If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:
    • Do not enter - the perpetrator may still be inside.
    • Use a neighbor's phone to call police.
    • Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
    • Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
    • Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.
  • Other Precautions You Should Take:
    • Never leave keys under doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes or other "secret" hiding places -- burglars know where to look for hidden keys.
    • Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home -- this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
    • Trim your shrubbery around your home to reduce cover for burglars.
    • Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call 911 immediately. Mark your valuables with your driver's license number with an engraver. Marked items are harder for a burglar to dispose of and easier for police to recover.
    • Form a Neighborhood Watch Group. We can help you work with your neighbors to improve security and reduce risk of burglary.
    • Consider installing a burglar alarm system.

The MOST important thing YOU can do is CALL THE POLICE to report a CRIME or any SUSPICIOUS activity. You have to be the eyes of your neighborhood. And remember you can always remain a pair of anonymous eyes! Call:

Emergency: 911
Non-emergency Police and Fire: 408-730-7100

Sunnyvale Crime Map - Sunnyvale crime map and reports.

Be sure to call the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety (SDPS) and schedule your free Home Security Survey (408-730-7116).


Disaster Prepardness

Here is a Disaster Preparedness Checklist from our Neighbohood Watch Meeting, 29 August 2008. Are you prepared?

Planning for Yourself and Your Family:

  • Store your vital documents in safe place
  • Make an inventory list of your household items
  • Create a family emergency plan
  • Teach your children about disasters and what to expect from them
  • Make provisions for the elderly and disabled

Preparing Yourself and Your Family:

  • Store one gallon of water per person per day in a sturdy plastic container
  • Maintain a three to five day supply of food
  • Assemble emergency supplies for your family
  • Prepare portable disaster supply kits for your car and workplace
  • Store your supplies in a safe, accessible location

Protecting your Family and Your Home:

  • Identify, secure and correct any potential hazards in your home
  • Examine the structural safety of your home
  • Locate your utility shut-off valves
  • Store hazardous household products in a safe location
  • Install smoke detectors
  • Learn how to use a fire extinguisher

Dumpster Days

dumpster pic

The Cherryhill Neighborhood Association would like to sponser a new project — Dumpster Day. On Dumpster Day the City of Sunnyvale will provide Dumpsters in strategic locations in the neighborhood. Residents can get rid of their accumulated junk free of cost. Renting a dumpster on your own would set you back about $300 to $600 depending on size.

We will sponser a Dumpster Day if we can find a volunteer to head up the project . It is our desire to get as many neighbors as possible actively involved in the association. This is an prime opportunity to involve someone new.

According to Steve Frias of the City of Sunnyvle, Dumpster Days are held in the April-May-June time frame. Generally they are held on one of the free hazardous waste disposal days, so that there is a way to get rid of hazardous waste as well. Dumpsters are expected to be available from 8 am to 2 or 3 pm on a Saturday. (The dumpsters may be delivered on Friday — We are not clear on that.)

Neighbors could put useful stuff in their driveway for others to pick up, then put it in the dumpster if no one wants it. Volunteer association members could drive around and pick up hazardous waste and take it to the recycling Smart Station independently. It is likely that in this case the limits on how much hazardous waste you can drop off at once would be relaxed because it's part of dumpster day activities

A significant number of Sunnyvale neighborhood associatons already participate in Dumpster Day. The city budgets a certain number of dumpsters for Dumpster Days, so the number of dumpsters is limited. Cherryhill NA has been added to the list and may get about three dumpsters to be placed strategically about in our neighborhood for our first Dumpster Day. Each dumpster has to be assigned to a residence -- name, phone number, address required. The residence has to monitor the dumpster to ensure that all the rules are followed. The city bills the dumpster to that residence and then deletes the cost from their bill. The account for the residence has to be in good standing, i.e. paid up. The city will print and provide at least some flyers for us. They will provide flyers stating the dumping rules to post on the dumpsters.

We have been promised efiles of the literature and flyers. But haven't received them yet. Volunteer by contacting Wayne Amacher