Staying Safe in Forest Hills
One of the best ways to keep Forest Hills neighborhoods safe is for residents to keep their eyes open.
As spring and summer travel seasons approach, many families will be leaving their homes vacant for a few days, a few weeks, or more. If you are planning to be away, make sure your neighbors know about it so that they will be alert to suspicious behavior.
What should you, as a neighbor, do if you see something out of place? Call Metro Police at 615-862-8600. This might include seeing an unfamiliar car cruising past more than once, or someone sitting in a parked car for an extended time, or a stranger walking around a neighbor’s house.
Forest Hills regulations require posting bond and obtaining a permit before soliciting. That means anyone selling goods or services door-to-door should be ready to present credentials, and anyone without credentials should be reported.
Metro Police rely on the cooperation of citizens to help keep neighborhoods safe. The rule of thumb is: See Something, Say Something.
TIP: To view crime in your area, go to CrimeMapping.com and enter your address. You can look at incidents within a one-mile or two-mile radius, or click “Remove Radius” to show a bigger area.
Don’t get complacent when it comes to home service professionals.
While using caution seems obvious any time you allow strangers into your home, often home owners are too comfortable with unreliable service providers.
Keep your home and your family safe by following these guidelines.
Warm weather brings a host of summer activities, many of which become associated with drinking alcohol: toasting to the future at graduation celebrations, sipping margaritas by the pool, or toting a cooler of beer out to the lake.
Along with that comes the dangers of drinking and driving.
Enhanced visibility on Nashville’s roadways and zero tolerance for impaired drivers are the cornerstones of the police department’s DUI initiative. So far this year, extra duty officers working under a Governor’s Highway Safety Office grant have arrested 207 suspected drunk drivers, and the DUI Unit has arrested an additional 294 suspected drunk drivers.
Do your part to keep our streets safe. Follow these guidelines, and make sure others in your party do, too.
You can view online maps of area crime activity
CrimeMapping.com provides maps of recent crime activity at the neighborhood level, based on reports from the local police departments.
The site maintains current information with new data uploaded into the system every 24 hours.
To view crime in your area, go to CrimeMapping.com and enter your address. You can look at incidents within a one-mile or two-mile radius, or click “Remove Radius” to show a bigger area.
If you want to see reports from a police department other than Metro Nashville, click on “Choose an Agency” on the home page then select a police department.
Register at the site to receive free email updates whenever new crime activity occurs in specified areas. From the home page, click on “Receive Crime Alerts” at the top and follow the instructions to register.
By Sgt. Raymond Jones
Soon the weather will be warm and more bicyclists will be on the streets.
Sometimes we fail to remember that bicyclists have just as much right to be on a roadway as a vehicle does. In fact, there is a law that prohibits passing a bicyclist unless you have at least three feet between you and the bicyclist.
If there is a car traveling the other direction and you are unable to create three feet of distance, you must remain in your lane until you are able to pass safely and legally.
Not only do motorists need to be cognizant of rights of bicyclists, but bicyclists need to be aware that along with this right also come the rules and responsibilities of traveling on a roadway and abiding by the laws.
Reducing the number of bicyclist injuries takes actions by both motorists and bicyclists. I have listed recommendations that if implemented will make our city a safer place for bicyclists.
The majority of bicycle/vehicle collisions happen at intersections when a motorist is turning left or right and fails to see a cyclist, so make sure at intersections you look not only for vehicles but pedestrians and bicyclists as well.
Not only do motorists need to be more aware of their surroundings but bicyclists do as well. Bicyclists, knowing that intersections have the most crashes, slow your speed and take a look too, even if you do have the right of way.
Please take extra precautions as you travel and make 2015 another year where we have zero bicycle fatalities.
An emergency is any situation including a fire, a crime in progress, a car accident, or a medical emergency that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department, or ambulance.
When you call, be prepared to give your location, the phone number, and the nature of the emergency.
Call if you observe suspicious behavior on your property or your neighbor’s.
Call if someone knocks on your door and has any kind of strange exchange.
Call if they ask for someone you’ve never heard of.
Call if they are soliciting and do not have a valid Forest Hills solicitation permit.
Call if you see suspicious vehicles parked, driving slowly, or pulling into multiple driveways. Call if you feel unsafe in any way.
SAFE LOCATION In case of storm or natural disaster, Hillsboro Church of Christ at the corner of Hillsboro Pike and Tyne Boulevard will be open to the public as a safe place to come for shelter. MAP
Crime in Progress 911
Crime Committed 615/862-8600
West Precinct 615/862-7747
West of Hillsboro Pike
Midtown Precinct 615/880-1411
East of Hillsboro Pike
> Metro Nashville Multihazard Mitigation Plan
Be alert to changing weather conditions.
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information.
Look for approaching storms.
Look for the following danger signs:
- Dark, often greenish sky
- Large hail
- A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
- Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.
If you are under a tornado WARNING, seek shelter immediately!
If you are in: > Then:
A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building). > Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck. Do not open windows.
A vehicle, trailer, or mobile home. > Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
The outside with no shelter. > Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
Install smoke alarms. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half.
Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence. Place them outside bedrooms on the ceiling or high on the wall (4 to 12 inches from ceiling), at the top of open stairways, or at the bottom of enclosed stairs and near (but not in) the kitchen.
Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.
Escaping the Fire
Review escape routes with your family. Practice escaping from each room.
Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut. Make sure security gratings on windows have a fire safety opening feature so they can be easily opened from the inside.
Consider escape ladders if your residence has more than one level, and ensure that burglar bars and other antitheft mechanisms that block outside window entry are easily opened from the inside.
Teach family members to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer in a fire) when escaping from a fire.
Clean out storage areas. Do not let trash, such as old newspapers and magazines, accumulate.
Never use gasoline, benzine, naptha, or similar flammable liquids indoors.
Store flammable liquids in approved containers in well-ventilated storage areas.
Never smoke near flammable liquids.
Discard all rags or materials that have been soaked in flammable liquids after you have used them. Safely discard them outdoors in a metal container.
Insulate chimneys and place spark arresters on top. The chimney should be at least three feet higher than the roof. Remove branches hanging above and around the chimney.
Be careful when using alternative heating sources.
Check with your local fire department on the legality of using kerosene heaters in your community. Be sure to fill kerosene heaters outside, and be sure they have cooled.
Place heaters at least three feet away from flammable materials. Make sure the floor and nearby walls are properly insulated.
Use only the type of fuel designated for your unit and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
Store ashes in a metal container outside and away from your residence.
Keep open flames away from walls, furniture, drapery, and flammable items.
Keep a screen in front of the fireplace.
Have heating units inspected and cleaned annually by a certified specialist.
Matches and Smoking
Keep matches and lighters up high, away from children, and, if possible, in a locked cabinet.
Never smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated. Provide smokers with deep, sturdy ashtrays. Douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
Have the electrical wiring in your residence checked by an electrician.
Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs.
Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring.
Make sure wiring does not run under rugs, over nails, or across high-traffic areas.
Do not overload extension cords or outlets. If you need to plug in two or three appliances, get a UL-approved unit with built-in circuit breakers to prevent sparks and short circuits.
Make sure insulation does not touch bare electrical wiring.
Sleep with your door closed.
Install A-B-C-type fire extinguishers in your residence and teach family members how to use them.
Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your residence.
Ask your local fire department to inspect your residence for fire safety and prevention.
Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
Remember the 30/30 lightning safety rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
The following are guidelines for what you should do if a thunderstorm is likely in your area:
- Postpone outdoor activities.
- Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
- Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
- Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades, or curtains.
- Avoid showering or bathing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
- Use a corded telephone only for emergencies. Cordless and cellular telephones are safe to use.
- Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
- Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
Avoid the following:
- Natural lightning rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area.
- Hilltops, open fields, the beach, or a boat on the water
- Isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas.
- Anything metal—tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs, and bicycles.
Snow, Ice, and Cold
Add the following supplies to your disaster supplies kit:
- Rock salt to melt ice on walkways
- Sand to improve traction
- Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.
Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off. For example, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.
Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees.
Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow – or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.
Prepare your car
Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car:
Antifreeze levels: Ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
Battery and ignition system: Should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
Brakes: Check for wear and fluid levels.
Exhaust system: Check for leaks and crimped pipes andrepair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
Fuel and air filters. Replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas.
Heater and defroster: Ensure they work properly.
Lights and flashing hazard lights: Check for serviceability.
Oil: Check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
Thermostat: Ensure it works properly.
Windshield wiper equipment: Repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
Install good winter tires. Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.
Place a winter emergency kit in each car that includes:
- A shovel
- Windshield scraper and small broom
- Battery powered radio
- Extra batteries
- Snack food
- Extra hats, socks and mittens
- First aid kit with pocket knife
- Necessary medications
- Tow chain or rope
- Road salt and sand
- Booster cables
- Emergency flares
- Fluorescent distress flag
Dress for the Weather
Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
Wear a hat.
- Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
- Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
- Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
- Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
- Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
- Keep storm windows up all year.
- Avoid building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home.
- Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electric panel if susceptible to flooding.
- Install “check valves” in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
- Construct barriers (levees, beams, floodwalls) to stop floodwater from entering the building.
- Seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.
The smartest thing you can do to prepare for floods is purchase flood insurance.
Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently and without warning. Identifying potential hazards ahead of time and advance planning can reduce the dangers of serious injury or loss of life from an earthquake. Repairing deep plaster cracks in ceilings and foundations, anchoring overhead lighting fixtures to the ceiling, and following local seismic building standards, will help reduce the impact of earthquakes.
Check for Hazards in the Home
- Fasten shelves securely to walls.
- Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
- Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
- Hang heavy items such as pictures and mirrors away from beds, couches, and anywhere people sit.
- Brace overhead light fixtures.
- Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks.
- Secure a water heater by strapping it to the wall studs and bolting it to the floor.
- Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
- Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
Identify Safe Places Indoors and Outdoors
- Under sturdy furniture such as a heavy desk or table.
- Against an inside wall.
- Away from where glass could shatter around windows, mirrors, pictures, or where heavy bookcases or other heavy furniture could fall over.
- In the open, away from buildings, trees, telephone and electrical lines, overpasses, or elevated expressways.
Educate Yourself and Family Members
- Contact your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter for more information on earthquakes. Also read the “How-To Series” for information on how to protect your property from earthquakes.
- Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.
- Teach all family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.
Have Disaster Supplies on Hand
- Flashlight and extra batteries.
- Portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
- First aid kit and manual.
- Emergency food and water.
- onelectric can opener.
- Essential medicines.
- sh and credit cards.
- Sturdy shoes.
Develop an Emergency Communication Plan
In case family members are separated from one another during an earthquake (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster.
- Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the “family contact.” After a disaster, it’s often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.
Help Your Community Get Ready
- Publish a special section in your local newspaper with emergency information on earthquakes. Localize the information by printing the phone numbers of local emergency services offices, the American Red Cross, and hospitals.
- Conduct a week-long series on locating hazards in the home.
- Work with local emergency services and American Red Cross officials to prepare special reports for people with mobility impairments on what to do during an earthquake.
- Provide tips on conducting earthquake drills in the home.
- Interview representatives of the gas, electric, and water companies about shutting off utilities.
- Work together in your community to apply your knowledge to building codes, retrofitting programs, hazard hunts, and neighborhood and family emergency plans.
Hazardous Materials Incident
Many communities have Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) whose responsibilities include collecting information about hazardous materials in the community and making this information available to the public upon request. The LEPCs also are tasked with developing an emergency plan to prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies in the community. Ways the public will be notified and actions the public must take in the event of a release are part of the plan.
Contact the LEPCs to find out more about chemical hazards and what needs to be done to minimize the risk to individuals and the community from these materials. Your local emergency management office can provide contact information on the LEPCs. Tennessee Agency of Emergency Management
You should add the following supplies to your disaster kit:
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
Prepare to deal with a terrorist incident by adapting many of the same techniques used to prepare for other crises.
- Be alert and aware of the surrounding area. The very nature of terrorism suggests that there may be little or no warning.
- Take precautions when traveling.
- Be aware of conspicuous or unusual behavior. Do not accept packages from strangers.
- Do not leave luggage unattended.
- Learn where emergency exits are located.
- In an unfamiliar building be aware of your immediate surroundings including your closest exits.
- Be aware of heavy or breakable objects that could move, fall or break in an explosion.
People who live or work in a multi-level building can do the following:
- Review emergency evacuation procedures and know where fire exits are located.
- Create an emergency communications plan with an out-of-town family member or friend that will be unlikely to be affected by the same emergency.
Authorities will determine if evacuation is necessary based on the type and duration of the incident. Other considerations are the length of time it should take to evacuate the area, weather conditions, and the time of day.
If evacuated: Stay tuned to a radio or television for information on evacuation routes, temporary shelters, and other procedures. Follow the routes recommended by the authorities–shortcuts may not be safe.
Shelters: Temporary shelters are schools, churches and other places of public assembly that are utilized during incidents requiring citizens to be evacuated from a specific area of The City of Franklin or Williamson County. Tune to radio and television for information on the nearest open shelter to your location. If radio and television communications are disrupted, local emergency personnel will direct you as needed.
Take pre-assembled emergency supplies.
Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance such as infants, elderly people and people with disabilities.
Plan to take your pets with you; do not leave them behind. Because pets are not permitted in public shelters, follow your plan to go to a relative or friend’s home, or find a location that will allow pets.
If asked to stay indoors (“In-Place Sheltering”), seal your house so contaminants cannot enter. Close and lock windows and doors. Seal gaps under doorways and windows with wet towels and duct tape. Seal gaps around window and air conditioning units, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, and stove and dryer vents with duct tape and plastic sheeting, wax paper or aluminum wrap.
Close fireplace dampers. Close off nonessential rooms such as storage areas, laundry rooms and extra bedrooms.
Turn off ventilation systems.