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Home Security Self-Assessment and Safety Tips

The Melrose Police Department is committed to your home security. Prevention is the key to keeping homes and apartments secure. Please download the following checklists and tips, and use them to safeguard your home.

Is your House Number Clearly Visible?

Many people do not have house numbers at all, or have house numbers that are not clearly visible from the street.  This makes it difficult for Police, Fire and EMS vehicles to find your house in an emergency.  Here are some tips to properly display your house number:

  • Place large, easy to read numbers on an area of your house most visible from the street.
  • If your house is set back from the street, make sure you have numbers on a mailbox, post, or fence etc.
  • Make sure the material you use will not fade or wear easily from weather.
  • Choose colors that will not blend into the background they are displayed on.

Safety Posters

General Safety Tips

  • Pay close attention to your surroundings.
  • Walk with a purpose; project an assertive, business-like image.
  • Use common sense; plan your route to avoid dark parking lots, garages and alleyways.
  • Use well-lit outdoor areas.
  • Develop a plan before you see trouble.  Crossing a street or entering a store may get you out of a potentially bad situation.
  • If a car follows you or beckons you while you are walking, do not approach it. Instead, turn and quickly walk the opposite direction and call the police for assistance.
  • Carry minimal items; overloading yourself can make you appear vulnerable.
  • Walking – Jogging Safety Tips

Spot and Avoid Potential Trouble

  • Be aware of your surroundings and know who is around you.
  • Pay attention to the instinctive feelings that often warn us of potential danger.
  • Do not be afraid to cross the street, return to a business, or ask for help based on a “funny feeling”.

Melrose Alert Program

  • The Council on Aging and the Melrose Police Department have joined to create a recovery plan designed to provide rapid response in locating cognitively impaired residents (of any age) who have been reported missing.
  • Residents with a loved one suffering from a servious cognitive impairment are encouraged to register their loved one. Registration forms may be downloaded at
  • Please submit the completed registration form to the Melrose Police Department in person or by mail at 56 West Foster Street Melrose MA 02176

Home and Neighborhood Safety

Neighbors working together and staying alert, can really help improve the safety of a neighborhood.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANeighborhood Security encompasses a lot of different ideas and strategies. However, the unifying element is the need for neighbors to work both as individuals and as a coordinated team.

If your neighborhood is having chronic problems with nuisances such as noise and speeding, or more serious problems such as drug or gang activities, you are not powerless to change the situation. The immediate role of the police is to respond to criminal activity, but when a situation is part of a recurring problem, active neighbors help investigations and allow police to take further action.

Your response can, as well as that of your neighbor, make a difference. Often times the partnership between neighbors and police are required to resolve the problem.

Going on Vacation?

Sunset_on_Hawaii_VacationVacations are more enjoyable when you have taken the necessary precautions to secure your home while you are away.

Everyone looks forward to taking vacations. Unfortunately, this can be an opportune time for a burglar to strike, especially if there are obvious signs that your home is unoccupied. Whether gone for a day or a couple of weeks, take the following precautions:

  • Download the Vacation House Watch form, fill it out, and return it to the Melrose Police Department prior to going on vacation.
  • Check all doors and windows to make sure they are securely locked. If any locks need to be replaced or reinforced, make these improvements before you leave.
  • Use automatic timers on interior lights. A timer can also be used on a portable radio.
  • Use motion sensors on exterior lights. These devices will “automatically” turn lights on/off depending on the level of darkness.
  • If you will be gone for an extended period of time, arrange to have your lawn mowed. It is also a good idea to ask a neighbor to park a car in your driveway and to use your garbage container.
  • Make sure that items such as children’s toys, ladders, lawn furniture, etc. are put away.
  • A trusted neighbor should be informed of your vacation plans; when you are leaving and expected return date. Leave a key with a trusted friend or neighbor so that the position of curtains, blinds can be changed. Also if you don’t cancel newspapers and postal delivery, ask them to pick up and place in the house.
  • Inform trusted neighbors on all four sides of when you’ll be gone so that a complete look-out is maintained. Be selective, however, in announcing your plans to anyone else.
  • If you have an alarm system, make sure it’s activated when you leave. Leave the alarm key with a neighbor and show them how to turn the system on and off.