By Gary Jenkins
BAPA Safety Liaison
Summer is upon us and, with the end of school near, vacations, and warmer weather, it’s time to head outside and enjoy our neighborhood.
Unlike last year when we all were locked inside because COVID-19 restrictions, this summer will look and feel like summers of old. Due to an increase in residents receiving their vaccinations, and a much better understanding COVID-19, we can do more outdoor activities with more people. With that in mind, it is important that we enjoy our summer safely.
Because we will be involved with more outside activities, such as walking, jogging, bike riding, skating, and other fun outdoor activities, we need to keep simple safety strategies in mind:
During the early morning or late evening hours, it is best to walk or jog with a group; if it’s dark out, use reflectors or wear white or bright clothing.
Always be aware of your surroundings, and avoid texting while walking.
When roller blading, inline skating make sure to use properly fitted helmets, and knee pads and elbow pads, especially children. Adults and children should always wear properly fitted helmets when biking.
For the safety and protection of its children, the City of Chicago Municipal Code has curfew laws for unaccompanied minors under 17.
For minors age 12 through 16 curfew is 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following day, Sunday through Thursday, and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following day Friday and Saturday.
For minors under age 12, curfew is 8:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following day, Sunday through Thursday, and 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. the following day Friday and Saturday.
Chicago Park District parks close at 10 p.m. To help keep parks and playgrounds safe for all, if you see kids violating curfews and/or engaging in underage drinking, call 9-1-1.
Summer also brings out individuals seeking to take advantage of homeowners. These individuals may services such as cleaning chores and small repairs, or they may be dressed as utility or telephone employees. They usually work in groups of two or more. Do not hire people you don’t know.
The Chicago Police Department has some tips to help protect their homes:
Keep doors and windows locked in your home and garage, especially when you are not at home.
Make sure your property is well lit and night.
If you have a security system, keep it maintained and learn its proper use and how to save images.
Keep exterior windows clear of obstructions such as shrubs and trees to ensure a clear view of the front of your residence.
Call 9-1-1 to report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood.
The summer iso a great time to get out and meet your neighbors. CPD promotes a program where neighbors get together to watch over their block. Traditional block club consist of neighbors who share an interest in maintaining the safety and improving the quality of life on their block. Neighbors also get together for walking clubs, garden clubs, vertical block clubs and virtual block clubs.