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From the Mayor: Home Safety Tips for the Summer Months

By Mary Marvin, Mayor of Bronxville

June 20, 2024: As summer fast approaches, we all notice a change in the rhythm of the Village as many of you take the opportunity to travel, some leaving homes unoccupied for significant stretches of time. But even if traveling for a short duration, it is important that one’s home looks occupied.

Despite stopping mail, random flyers and solicitation items can end up on driveways which are giveaways to a vacant house. Our police department advises homeowners to share your schedule with a neighbor, ask them to pick up items left near your home and even park a car in your driveway. In addition, if you alert our police desk of your travels, they will add your home to the “dark house” list and drive by on a daily basis.

Other safety tips and strategies from our Police Department to make your home appear occupied while you’re away include:

-Connect somelamps to automatic timers to go on during the day as well as at night. Put timers on televisions and radios as well as lights.

-Keep the garage door closed and locked and store lawnmowers, barbecues and bikes out of sight asbike thefts in particular increase significantly during the summer months.

-Change the locks immediately if keys are lost or stolen.

-Keep car and house keys on separate rings and unlabeled so if lost, both are not vulnerable to use.

-Even when home, cars should always be locked and valuables removed from plain site. The vast majority of our car thefts are not break-ins, rather crimes of opportunity when unlocked car doors are tried, opened and money and valuables taken.

-Phone ringers, especially in apartments, should be lowered as an audible persistently ringing phone is a sign of an empty apartment.

-Consider motion sensitive lights around your home, particularly backyards.

-Never leave keys in what you think are secret hiding places as burglars know where to look for hidden keys.

-If you do return home and find an unexplained open or broken window or door, do not enter your home as the perpetrator could still be inside; rather go to a neighbor’s home to use the phone or use your cell phone a significant distance from the house. Touch nothing as to preserve evidence and fingerprints.

-As a general rule, call the Police Department if you see any suspicious persons/activities/packages; anything out of the norm and let trained police professionals make the decision as what has transpired. It is important to call the Police Department immediately because often time is truly of the essence and even a small delay can hamper apprehension.

-Prior to departure, if you have any concerns about the safety of your home, call the Police Department, set up an appointment and an officer will do a security survey of your home to assess vulnerabilities and suggest ways to increase security.

-A key file at the police department is also available allowing homeowners to keep a key in the department in case of emergencies and lockouts.

As illustration, just last week, a 90 year old plus resident fell during the night and could not reach the door.  Because we had her key on file, the police did not have to smash in her door or call a relative or the super, and were able to get her medical aid immediately.

Summer is an ideal time for home repairs as the Village is less busy on many levels.  If you plan any major renovations, kindly alert your neighbors so they can adjust their outdoor plans accordingly. It is also a good time to check the conditions of your sidewalks and repair as needed. Due to rapid plant growth in the summer months, please be mindful that trees and bushes must be trimmed to allow safe passage along sidewalks as well as to maintain visibility at intersections and avoid extra screening for intruders.

The summer, especially of late, has been the season for our severest weather conditions in both wind and rain events.

If you lose power, per the Con Edison protocols, the police desk cannot call in outages for individuals and does not receive any information from Con Edison re: a timeframe for power restoration.

If you experience an outage, immediately call 1-800-CONED or visit their website at www.coned.com.

Con Ed requires each individual home to report an outage even though your neighbor reported an outage, it does not automatically include your home as well. The Con Ed website is also the source for resumption times. If the Village receives any information from Con Ed, we will convey immediately via our emergency alert system by phone, text or email.  To sign up, go to www.villageofbronxville.com

If power does go out, turn everything off, especially air conditioners, so if a power surge occurs, equipment is not ruined.

Water consumption also skyrockets during the summer months. According to our Green Committee and lawn care professionals, the key to conserving water is to water wisely.

Water during the cooler parts of the day such as early morning or evening to minimize evaporation. Install a rain sensor on your sprinkler system to prevent unnecessary watering during or after rainfall and take care to angle the sprinklers correctly so that they are not watering driveways or sidewalks.

Embrace drought tolerant plants or consider replacing high-water consuming plants with alternatives. Native plants are well adapted to the local climate and require less water in general to thrive. These plants have the ability to withstand periods of drought and can not only conserve water but add a natural beauty to your landscape. Our local nurseries and gardening experts are well versed in choosing the most suitable plants.

Take advantage of the one positive of the heavy rainfall of late by collecting rainwater in barrels or cisterns, thus allowing you to use free and naturally soft water for irrigation. If you attach a rain barrel to your gutter, downspouts and store for later use, it’s a sustainable solution and also many of the new barrels are quite attractive urns that add a decorative aesthetic to homes. In addition, sweep paved surfaces instead of hosing them down and use a broom to clean outdoor spaces.

It really makes financial sense in a very short time frame to have a very efficient irrigation system and to spend the money to upgrade to maximize water efficiency. Most eco-friendly professionals encourage the use of drip irrigation or soaker hoses, which deliver water directly to the roots, minimizing waste from evaporation and runoff.

For those of you staying put, our Village is particularly beautiful and peaceful this time of year, offering an opportune time to enjoy our outdoor dining, catch a first run movie or a summer sale at one of our Village businesses – all while finding a parking space!



Government & History Directory

Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

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