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Facts, Tips and Information to Keep You Safe Click on the headings below for more information.

ATM Safety

Try to avoid using an ATM by yourself. Either take someone with you, or only use an ATM when others are around. If possible, avoid using an ATM after dark. If you must, choose one that is well lighted and does not have tall bushes nearby. When you arrive at an ATM, look around. If you see anything that makes you uncomfortable or anyone who looks suspicious, do not stop. Either use an ATM at a different location, or come back later.

Bicycles Safety

Stay safe when you ride. Check out our bicycle safety tips covering everything from equipment and helmets to clothing.

Personal Safety

In today's society, people have growing concerns about being victimized by crime. The police often hear questions from citizens about ways to protect themselves and their property from criminals. Crime is just not a police problem, it is everyone's problem. To eradicate crime, citizens must become involved in a cooperative effort with the police. Every crime is comprised of three basic elements: the victim, the criminal's desire and the opportunity to commit the crime. Crime can be thought of in terms of a triangle; remove one of its legs and the triangle collapses. If one of the elements is removed from the crime triangle, the crime is not committed. It is difficult to control the criminal's desire and the fact that there is a victim in every crime, but what the police and citizens can impact is the opportunity. By working as a team, police and citizens can make strides in reducing the instances of crime. While nothing is foolproof, this security survey is designed to give you fundamental and inexpensive ideas on how to protect yourself and secure your property. Don't be the victim of a crime, take a few minutes and answer the following questions from the criminal's point of view.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States. Credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, social security numbers, and other personal identification can net criminals thousands of dollars in a very short period of time. While the financial loss incurred by this type of crime is not always incurred by the consumer, it can significantly traumatize them and take them months if not years to restore their credit and good name, and may keep them from being able to cash checks, obtain loans, or event rent an apartment.

Seatbelt and Carseat Laws

Michigan carseat and seatbelt laws and safety tips for riding with babies and children.

Facts, Tips and Information

ATM Safety
Try to avoid using an ATM by yourself. Either take someone with you, or only use an ATM when others are around. If possible, avoid using an ATM after dark. If you must, choose one that is well lighted and does not have tall bushes nearby. When you arrive at an ATM, look around. If you see anything that makes you uncomfortable or anyone who looks suspicious, do not stop. Either use an ATM at a different location, or come back later. Notify the authorities. Have your access card and any other documents you need ready when you approach an ATM. While you are fumbling with a wallet or purse you are an easy target for a thief. If someone else is using the ATM when you arrive, avoid standing right behind them. Give enough space to conduct their transaction in privacy. Even while using the ATM, stay alert to your surroundings. Look up and around every few seconds while transacting your business. Protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Do not enter your PIN if anyone else can see the screen. Shield your PIN from onlookers by using your body. When your transaction is finished, be sure you have your card and your receipt, then leave immediately. Avoid counting or otherwise displaying large amounts of cash. As you leave, keep a look out. Be alert for anything or anyone who appears suspicious. If you think you are being followed, go directly to a Police Station or go to an area with many people and call the police.
Bicycles Safety
Clothing

  • It really makes sense to wear something bright that will make you stand out as you are riding. Here are some tips that will keep you safe.
  • Wear bright colors, fluorescent green, yellow or orange are great. They will make you stand out from the scenery.
  • Look for fabrics that are cool and light weight. If it is cool out dress in layers so you can peel clothes off as you warm up.
  • If you have to ride at night (which we don't recommend) you need clothing that have some type of reflective materials, a headlight.
  • Make sure you don't have loose clothing, bags or shoe strings that may get caught in the chain or spokes.
  • The last and most important piece of clothing is your helmet. Never get on you bike without it.

Riding Tips

  • Avoid riding at night, but if you must, use a headlight, a taillight, reflectors on your pedals and wear bright, reflective clothing.
  • Scan the road behind you. Check over your shoulder as you ride being careful not to loose your balance or swerving. Many riders use a handle bar or helmet mounted rear view mirror.
  • Always look back before changing lanes or position in your lane to make sure you are not turning in front of someone.
  • Go slow on sidewalks and bike paths. Pedestrians have the right-of-way. When passing pedestrians give an audible warning to let them know you are passing. Keep a careful eye out when passing driveways. Many drivers back out without even looking.
  • Always obey traffic signs and signals. Many accidents a year stem from bicyclists not obeying the same rules as automobiles.
  • When riding on the street always ride with traffic not against it.
  • Make sure you use hand signals when turning or stopping. Ride in a straight and don't weave between parked cars unless they are far apart.
  • Don't pass a car on the right. Vehicles turning right may not be looking for a bike coming up on their right side.

Equipment Check

Before you get on a bike and ride away you need to check several things.

  • Make sure your bike is the proper size.  When standing on the ground there should be a 1-3 inch gap between you an d the top bar. (You will need slightly more room if riding a mountain bike.)
  • Check your bike seat. Is is tight? Is it at the right height? When you are sitting on the seat with your foot on the pedal, your leg should be slightly bent.
  • Make sure you have a reflector on the front and back of your bike. The rear reflector should be red and at least 3 inches across. Make sure it is pointed straight back so it properly reflects a car's headlights.
  • Check the bike's chain to make sure it is clean and lubricated. If not take it to the local bike shop.
  • Check your brakes for even pressure. They should make your back wheels skid on dry pavement, but you don't want them to stick.
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated.

Warnings

  • Helmet Warnings
    • Children must remove helmets before climbing on playground equipment or trees, where a helmet can snag and choke them.
  • Keep an eye out for road hazards: sewer grates; man-hole covers; oily pavement; speed bumps; wet leaves; gravel; ice; and broken glass.
  • Wear appropriate clothing when biking. Do not wear headphones while riding your bike. You need to hear what is going on around you. Don't wear clothing that is too loose. They may get caught in the workings of your bike. Don't wear inappropriate shoes. Don't wear dark clothing.
  • Watch for cars pulling out of intersections and driveways.
  • Watch for chasing dogs.
  • Ignore them or try a firm "NO." If you can't get away dismount and try to keep the bike between yourself and the dog.
  • When riding in the rain keep alert for slippery areas and make sure to allow extra distance for breaking.

Helmet Information and Questions

How Does a Bicycle Helmet Work?
A helmet reduces the peak energy in a sharp impact. This requires a layer of stiff foam to cushion the blow by crushing. Most do this with expanded Polystyrene (EPS), the white picnic cooler film.

Does My Child Really Need a Helmet?
You bet! 85% of cyclists' head injuries can be prevented by a properly fitting bicycle helmet. More than 8000 bicycle riders are killed in the United States each year, almost all collisions with cars, and 75% of them die from head injuries. Your child can suffer permanent personality changes and learning disabilities from a brain injury, along with long term concentration difficulties, aggressiveness, headaches and balance problems.

Does My Toddler Need A Helmet?
A child of any age needs head protection when riding, but a toddler's neck muscles may not support the weight of a helmet. For this and other reasons, nobody in the injury prevention community recommends riding with a child under the age of one year old.

What Is The Best Helmet To Buy?
In June of 1999 Consumer Reports listed the Bell Half Pint Pro. as the best youth helmet to purchase.

Can I Wear A Bicycle Helmet For Other Sports?
The ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards for biking and inline skating are identical, so a bike helmet can easily double as a skating helmet for NORMAL inline skating. Aggressive skating and skateboard helmets have their own ASTM standard, and are designed for multiple hits.

When Should I Replace My Helmet?
Replace any helmet if you crash. Impact crushes some of the foam, although the damage may not be visible.

Many manufactures recommend replacement after five years.

Helmet Repair

Buckles:
When any piece of a helmet buckle breaks off, you must replace the buckle! Some manufacturers will send you a replacement buckle if you simply contact them. Otherwise, try your local bike shops for replacement parts.

Fit Pad Anchors:
After time the fit pad anchors attached to the inside of your helmet may come loose or fall off. Some manufacturers recommend 3M Super 77 adhesive to reattach the anchor.

Plastic Shell Separates From EPS Foam:
You can use the same 3M Super 77 to reattach the plastic shell to the EPS foam of the helmet.

Strap Stitching:
If your strap stitching comes out contact the manufacturer about a repair or to order a new strap. If they can't repair or replace the strap, purchase a new helmet.

Repairing Damaged Foam:
There is no repair to the foam Core. If damage has occurred destroy the old helmet (so no one can use it) and purchase a new one.

How do I Properly Fit My Helmet?

  • You want the helmet to be comfortably touching the head all the way around, level and stable enough to resist even violent shakes or hard blows and stay in place. It should be low enough on the head to maximize side coverage with the strap being comfortably snug.
  • Take your time to make sure everything is fitting properly. Everyone's head is different it could take ten to fifteen minutes or longer to get it right.
  • Use the Fit Pads: Helmets come with at least one set of foam fitting pads, and if your helmet came with a second set of thicker pads these can be used to customize the fit to you head. You can remove the top pad and replace it with a thinner one to lower the helmet on your head. This increases side impact protection but could reduce airflow through the helmet. Place remaining pads around the sides, front and back of the helmet so they all comfortably touch the head. The pads will compress over time but not enough to count on for a proper fit if the helmet is too tight.
  • Adjust the Straps: This becomes the tricky part and the most time consuming. You want the chinstrap snug against the chin, with the V of the side straps meeting just below the ear with no slack to let the helmet rock back and forth. If the chinstrap hangs down visibly or you can slide two fingers under it, it is too loose. Next, pay attention to the rear stabilizer if the helmet has one. It can keep the helmet from jiggling in normal use.
  • When you think the straps are about right, shake your head around. Then put your palm under the front edge and push up and back. Can you move the helmet more than an inch or so from level, exposing your bare forehead? If so you need to tighten the strap in front of your ear, and perhaps loosen the rear strap behind your ear. Now reach back and grab the rear edge of the helmet and pull up. Can you move the helmet more than an inch? If so you need to adjust the nape strap.

Just like a good pair of shoes or your seatbelt, your helmet should be so comfortable that you forget you are wearing it.
Personal Safety
In today's society, people have growing concerns about being victimized by crime. The police often hear questions from citizens about ways to protect themselves and their property from criminals. Crime is just not a police problem, it is everyone's problem. To eradicate crime, citizens must become involved in a cooperative effort with the police.

Every crime is comprised of three basic elements: the victim, the criminal's desire and the opportunity to commit the crime. Crime can be thought of in terms of a triangle; remove one of its legs and the triangle collapses. If one of the elements is removed from the crime triangle, the crime is not committed.

It is difficult to control the criminal's desire and the fact that there is a victim in every crime, but what the police and citizens can impact is the opportunity. By working as a team, police and citizens can make strides in reducing the instances of crime. While nothing is foolproof, this security survey is designed to give you fundamental and inexpensive ideas on how to protect yourself and secure your property. Don't be the victim of a crime, take a few minutes and answer the following questions from the criminal's point of view.

Personal Safety

One of the greatest concerns is our personal safety. It is a fact that most victims know their assailant and that being assaulted by a stranger is rare. However, it is still important to exercise caution in our daily activities.

Y N     Does my body language project confidence?
Y N     Do I carry small amounts of money and only a few credit cards?
Y N     Am I observant of my surroundings and the people in it?
Y N     Do I know emergency phone numbers?
Y N     Do I check the interior of my vehicle before entering it?
Y N     Am I prepared to resist an attacker; have I thought about what to do if confronted?

Home Security

Criminals often look for conditions that aid them in committing a crime. A secure home is a far less attractive target than the house down the street that is not secure.

Exterior

Y N     Is my address visible from the street and is it illuminated at night?
Y N     Does the home have adequate outside lighting with no dark or unlit areas around the house?
Y N     Are motion detectors, photocells or timers used on outside lights?
Y N     Is landscaping trimmed so that it does not offer concealment or access to doors and windows?
Y N     Are windows and doors kept locked?
Y N     Does the home look lived in; newspapers and mail picked up, lawn cut, leaves raked, snow cleared?
Y N     Are motion detectors or timers utilized on lights, televisions and radios while I am away?
Y N     Are fences and gates in good repair and do they provide visibility from the street or neighbors?
Y N     Is the home alarmed and are the residents familiar with the alarm's operation?

Doors

Y N     Are exterior doors solid core wood or metal clad to resist force?
Y N     Are exterior doors and locks in good repair?
Y N     Are doors equipped with a minimum one inch throw dead bolt?
Y N     Are door frames reinforced at the strike plate preferably with three inch wood screws?
Y N     Is there minimum spacing between the door and frame to prevent access of a heavy pry tool?
Y N     Is the inside door from the garage into the house treated like an exterior door?
Y N     Are screen and storm doors in good repair with functioning locks?
Y N     Are door hinges pinned to prevent removal?
Y N     Does the door have a peep hole?
Y N     Are sliding glass doors equipped with dowels to prevent being lifted out of the track?
Y N     Is the garage door routinely kept shut?

Windows

Y N     Are windows, screens and storm windows in good repair?
Y N     Are windows equipped with secure locks?
Y N     Are windows kept locked?

Valuables

Y N     Are valuables kept in a safe place?
Y N     Is the make, model and serial numbers of valuables recorded?
Y N     Are valuables engraved with an identification or drivers license number?
Y N     Is jewelry kept locked in a safe place?
Y N     Are firearms safely locked away, out of sight?
Y N     Is ammunition kept separate from firearms?
Y N     Are valuables insured? Are there additional insurance riders on jewelry and guns?

Vehicle Security

Statistics have shown that approximately every thirty seconds a vehicle is stolen in the United States. The theft usually occurs in under one minute and the peak hours are during the night. Remember, a thief may steal anything, if not a car, then maybe the valuables inside.

Y N     Is the vehicle in good working order?
Y N     Is the car left locked with windows up?
Y N     Are packages and valuables removed from inside the vehicle?
Y N     Are cellular phones, radar detectors, golf clubs, CD's and tapes stored out of sight?
Y N     Is the vehicle parked in a lighted, attended or secured area?
Y N     Is the vehicle equipped with any additional security devices?

What to Do

If you answered "Yes" to the above questions, you have already taken steps to diminish the chances of having a crime committed against you or your property. On the other hand, if you have answered "no", there may be a potential problem that should be addressed.

Officers of the Eastpointe Police Department stand ready to assist you. If you have any questions about this survey or would like additional information on how to protect your property and yourself, do not hesitate to call the Eastpointe Police Department (586) 445-5100.
Identity Theft
Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States. Credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, social security numbers, and other personal identification can net criminals thousands of dollars in a very short period of time. While the financial loss incurred by this type of crime is not always incurred by the consumer, it can significantly traumatize them and take them months if not years to restore their credit and good name, and may keep them from being able to cash checks, obtain loans, or event rent an apartment.

Ten Ways to Protect Yourself

You can minimize the risk of being victimized by taking the following steps:

  • Never leave your purse or wallet unattended at work, at restaurants, at health fitness clubs, in your shopping cart, at church, at parties, etc. Never leave your purse or wallet in open view in your car, even when locked.
  • Destroy all checks immediately when you close a checking account. Destroy or keep in a secure place any courtesy checks that your bank or credit card company may mail you.
  • Reconcile your check and credit card statements in a timely fashion and challenge any purchases you did not make.
  • Limit the number of credit cards you have and cancel any inactive accounts.
  • Never give any credit card, bank or social security information to anyone over the telephone.
  • Minimize exposure of your social security and credit card numbers. If the numbers are requested for check cashing purposes, ask if the business has alternative options such as a check cashing card.
  • Safeguard your credit and debit and ATM card receipts and shred them before disposing of them.
  • Scrutinize your utility and subscription bills to make sure the charges are yours.
  • Memorize your passwords and personal identification (PIN) numbers. Keep your PIN numbers somewhere that only you know about, anywhere but with your credit cards. Don't give out your PIN. Keeping your numbers to yourself is the best way to keep your credit cards secure.
  • Keep a list of, or photocopy, all credit and identification cards you carry with you, including front and back, so that you can quickly call the issuers to inform them about missing or stolen cards.

If You Are the Victim of Identity Theft:

  • Report the incident to the police immediately. If you know where your identification was stolen, that would be the jurisdiction you would have to report it to. Insist you be given a complaint number.
  • Report all stolen cards to the issuers immediately and request new cards be issued. Follow up with written notification.
  • Notify your bank in the event your checks were stolen and request that your account be closed.
  • In order to prove your innocence, be prepared to fill out affidavits of forgeries for banks, credit grantors and recipients of stolen checks. They are joint victims with you and may suffer a financial loss.
  • Contact the social security office if someone is using your social security number to establish credit or new accounts.
  • All three major credit reporting agencies in the United States have Fraud Assistance programs, with toll-free telephone numbers. Report the theft of your credit cards and request that your account be flagged to all three of the following companies:

Trans Union
Fraud Victim Assistance 
Address: P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, California, 92634
Phone: (800) 680-7289

Equifax Credit Information Services
Consumer Fraud Division
Address: P.O. Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374
Phone: (800) 525-6285

TRW Information Services
Consumer Fraud Assistance
Address: P.O. Box 1017, Allen, Texas, 75013
Phone: (800) 301-7195
Seatbelt and Carseat Laws
Age Restraint Law Section
0-3 Must be in child restraint system 257.10d
4-15 Seatbelt required in all seats 257.710e
16 and over Seatbelt required in front seat 257.710e

Shoulder belts are required except for people seated in the middle seat as stated below:

Model Year Vehicle Type Restraint Equipment
1974 to present Passenger car (Hard Top) Front shoulder belts 
1990 to present Passenger car (Hard Top) Front and Rear Shoulder Belt
1992 to present Convertibles, trucks under 10,000 lbs and MPV's Front and Rear Shoulder Belts

Protect Your Kids in the Car

The safest place for any child 12 years old and under is in the back seat. Every child should be buckled in a child safety seat, a booster seat, or with a lap/shoulder belt, if it fits.

Riding with Babies

Infants up to about 20 pounds and up to 1 year old should ride in a rear-facing child seat. The child seat must be in the back seat and face the rear of the car, van, or truck. Babies riding in a car must never face front. In a crash or sudden stop, the baby's neck can be hurt badly. Infants in car seats must never ride in the front seat of a car with air bags. In a crash, the air bag can hit the car seat and hurt or kill the baby. Never hold your baby in your lap when you are riding in the car. In a crash or sudden stop, your child can be hurt badly or killed.

Riding with Young Kids

Kids over 20 pounds and at least 1 year old should ride in a car seat that faces the front of the car, van, or truck. It is best to keep kids in the foreward facing car seat for as long as they fit comfortably in it.

Older kids over 40 pounds should ride in a booster seat until the car's lap and shoulder belts fit right. The lap belt must fit low and snug on their hips. The shoulder belt must not cross their face or neck. Never put the shoulder belt behind their back or under their arm.

Remember...

  • All kids are safest in the back seat, in a safety seat or seat belt.
  • Always read the child seat instructions and the car owner's manual.
  • Test the child seat to ensure a snug fit by pulling the base to either side or toward the front of the car.

If you would like a free child seat inspection, please contact:

For additional information, please contact the NHTSA hotline at: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236), or the NHTSA Web site.